When I started the Magnusson Institute in 2018, I had an early understanding of the problem I wanted to try to do something about: the loss of our digital privacy. But I had no idea about how to go about making a difference. So, we tried a few different things, started a few different projects.
One of them was Digital Privacy News (DPN). Five years ago, news coverage of the important things happening in privacy – and related topics like online identity and digital freedoms – was severely lacking.
Todd Beamon joined us as Founding Editor in Chief, and in March 2020 we launched https://dp.news. Todd got it off the ground from scratch and ran it for 18 months. We published 368 articles by 64 writers. Todd of course deserves the bulk of the credit for pulling together so much quality content from so many good writers in such a small amount of time.
We’re very proud of what we did with DPN. But things have changed in the world in general. Now, “privacy” is covered by traditional media outlets on a daily basis. They do not necessarily do a great job – after all, they are caught in a dilemma. To put it bluntly, your loss of digital privacy is what pays their bills.
We looked at ways to change how we might produce news in this space in a manner that would make an impact. We would like to be able to start DPN back up at some point in the future, but unfortunately, at this point we do not have a timeline for that. There are other projects that we believe will have greater impact to benefit your online privacy that require our attention and resources.
Nevertheless, there was very good material written by excellent writers. So we have decided to host this archive site. (Note: some material is missing but we will restore it.)
Peter S Magnusson
However, Protecting Your Privacy Is Not
By Peter S. Magnusson
Last of two parts.
Digital Privacy News marked its first anniversary Tuesday. In this final essay, Publisher Peter S. Magnusson explains how products purporting to protect data privacy are financed by those seeking to invade it.
Public awareness of the consequences of losing privacy has been rising dramatically in the past few years.
Unfortunately, growth is occurring within the very fabric of information collection and control.
You may have noticed the increased marketing around a variety of products promising “identity protection” or to “protect your online activity.”
For the most part, they are as honest and effective as the diet programs lauded every January on the covers of magazines on racks in your local checkout aisle.
Continue reading “Essay: Mind Control Is Profitable”
The Information Revolution Has Turned Us Into Digital Economic Objects
By Peter S. Magnusson
First of two parts.
Digital Privacy News marks its first anniversary Tuesday. In the first of two essays, Publisher Peter S. Magnusson explains the technological and societal changes that created us and our mission.
In recent years, “privacy” has gone from an obscure concern to an everyday worry among the public.
The forces that undermine our privacy have become deeply ingrained in our political and economic systems.
During the Industrial Revolution, citizens became physical economic objects. Extensive reforms to basic labor laws, for instance, became necessary — though not before the world had gone through convulsions of revolutions, global wars and genocide.
The Information Revolution has turned us into digital economic objects. The changes arguably are even greater than those of the Industrial Revolution — and the outlook for the next century is bleak.
Tuesday marks the first anniversary of Digital Privacy News, which seeks to create an independent source of news about digital privacy.
Continue reading “Essay: The Modern Prometheus”