Quite often, while discussing the role of web giants in enforcing mass digital surveillance (and while insisting that there is a cultural and political war going on around privacy and technology), I am asked this question: “If people are not willing to be spied upon, how come they aren’t out in the streets protesting tech companies’ privacy invasions?”. To which I reply: “Sure they are!”
Case in point: as part of a larger San Francisco Bay Area anti-Google campaign, protesters have started organizing rallies outside houses of Google Street View developers.
I’m not endorsing these protest tactics (they display deontological ambiguity, plus the flyer they distributed is pure rambling). I’m just pointing them out as examples of ongoing struggles. To paraphrase Utah Phillips: “Privacy is not dying, it is being killed. And those who are killing it have names and addresses.” Activists know these addresses, and protest outside them.
Further reading: my latest book Against the hypothesis of the « end of privacy » in social media: An agent-based modeling approach, co-authored with Paola Tubaro and Yasaman Sarabi, just published by Springer.