Technology is ever evolving and so is the conversation around privacy. The conversation and worries around privacy protections has always been there, but the technology that frames the narrative around this conversation has certainly changed. Technology has gotten more ubiquitous and connected over the past two decades, leading to greater concerns especially when it comes to networked surveillance and more efficient data collection practices. For instance, while wire tapping in the 1970s could only render important information on conversational content, today’s surveillance tools through cellphone tower tracking can even allow you to pinpoint an individual’s location on an accurate level.
It is our inability to avoid surveillance in the 21st century and our inability to “opt out” that is continuing to fuel the conversation and increased connectivity is addition to these concerns. Furthermore, many people have started talking about surveillance capitalism, a term that was not readily used before. Within the surveillance capitalism conversation, we are essentially taking a high voltage wire and connecting an evolving debate on capitalism, its exhaustion and limits and connecting it to surveillance and its excesses. Introducing capitalistic ideas into the privacy debate has certainly given some people a way to talk about privacy that kind of paints a crisper picture, according to Professor Zittrain.