An Extreme Willingness to Help

An Extreme Willingness to Help

00:00 / 00:12:14

Is there anything that can be done about government data collection? The truth is, probably not. However, the path to protecting your privacy may run through the private companies that are often very willing to provide the government with data, despite their public protestations to the contrary.

Of course, in order to protect your privacy, you have to be willing to take action. There are reasons why you might be willing to give up some of your privacy in order to receive something in return, but are you really getting a good deal, and are you confident that your data is safe? Listen to the episode to hear about some of the research on these topics.

Highlights of today’s episode include:

Chapter 2:

  • The parallels between Western Union’s willingness to provide the government with data, and AT&T’s similar attitude toward helping the NSA 100 years later
  • Facebook’s lobbying against regulation that would require them to be transparent about who pays for political ads on their platform.
  • The practice of dark advertising
  • How public interest in data collection ebbs and flows

Chapter 3:

  • Why you may not be aware of information that doesn’t seem to affect you in an immediately noticeable way.
  • The reason why “I have nothing to hide” is not a good reason to allow privacy to be breached.
  • How you may be paying for something that’s free or cheap in ways that you don’t notice
  • Pew research showing that while people do care about their privacy, few take action to protect it

Links and Resources:

BJ Mendelson on Facebook

To purchase the book, visit

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