San Francisco — What is privacy? And do we care enough to save it — even if we could? Those questions lurk in the background of any discussion about digital privacy. We feel a vague dread about what is being done with our data. But we aren’t sure exactly what harm is being done, or if anything significant is being lost.

Firmin DeBrabander, a professor of philosophy at the Maryland Institute College of Art, sums up the problem in his book Life After Privacy: Reclaiming Democracy in a Surveillance Society: “We don’t know what to say, how to articulate or express the harm that is inflicted by widespread government and commercial surveillance.”..

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