This is why many of us, when confronted with the enormity of state surveillance and the monumental effort it takes to personally circumvent it, often give up. Why not give Facebook your data, if all that happens is you get better ads? Why bother with slow and fiddly browsers and complicated passwords if you’re a nobody the government is unlikely to care about? What if you cannot afford to learn about various privacy tools that seem designed for only the tech-savvy? For these reasons, people often end up tolerating surveillance as a neutral or relatively benign phenomenon, or as a tool used on individuals who warrant being watched—people who have something to hide. Privacy gets depoliticized. Its supposed importance starts to wear thin.

Gemma Copeland
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