Combatting Surveillance Capitalism

The business of data mining and behavioral advertising has never been stronger or more ubiquitous. And yet, cracks are beginning to appear in the foundations of surveillance capitalism. Nowhere is this more evident than in the European Union where advertising behemoths like Google and Meta (parent company of Facebook) have suffered a series of legal defeats at the hands of aggressive privacy regulators. The GDPR has provided a framework for curtailing rampant abuses of the advertising industry and its promise is finally coming to fruition. Today I’ll speak with Johnny Ryan from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, who is fighting for all of us on the front lines of the war for privacy.

Johnny Ryan works at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and he was previously Chief Policy Officer at Brave. He has testified and spoken at the US Senate, the European Commission, and the European Parliament.

Interview Notes

Further Info

Table of Contents

Use these timestamps to jump to a particular section of the show.

  • 0:00:23: The 5th edition is OUT!!
  • 0:02:50: Interview prep
  • 0:05:02: Give us a refresher on how behavioral ads work
  • 0:08:41: Why was Meta fined and will they be able to appeal?
  • 0:18:40: How does tracking consent work now and how should it work?
  • 0:26:25: How are these fines determined and why wasn’t this one bigger?
  • 0:29:52: What changes we will see as a result of this and by when?
  • 0:32:45: Will this ruling affect other companies, as well?
  • 0:34:11: Will this ruling affect more than just notice and consent?
  • 0:36:19: Why can’t we just go back to context-based ads?
  • 0:41:15: Are behavior-based ads really more valuable?
  • 0:43:52: Is there more private way to have targeted ads?
  • 0:47:18: Will Google’s new ad framework just solidify their dominance?
  • 0:51:42: Won’t intelligence agencies abuse all of the data collected about us?
  • 0:57:41: Has surveillance capitalism peaked? What does the future look like?
  • 1:02:02: Interview follow-up
  • 1:03:32: Getting the book on people’s radars