A talk with New Yorker staff writer EVAN OSNOS about the crisis at Facebook. Serious data breaches and the 2016 Russian disinformation campaign have put the company and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, under scrutiny as the mid-term elections approach.
Whether it's logs of phone calls or GPS data, commentator Geoff Nunberg says it still says a lot about who you are: "Tell me where you've been and who you've been talking to, and I'll tell you about your politics, your health, your sexual orientation, your finances," he says.
Many people generate an immense amounts of digital data during a single day — often without a second thought. But Stephen Baker, a senior writer at BusinessWeek, warns that the information generated is being monitored by a group of entrepreneurial mathematicians.
Robert O'Harrow, Jr. is a reporter for The Washington Post and an associate of the Center for Investigative Reporting. His new book is about how the government is creating a national intelligence infrastructure with the help of private companies as part of homeland security. Huge data-mining operations are contracted by the government to gather information on our daily lives. Information technology has enabled retailers, marketers, and financial institutions to gather and store data about us.
Linda Douglass is the senior congressional correspondent for ABC News. She'll talk about how she handles rumors and allegations of officials' sex lives, and she'll tell us her opinion of the Flynt investigations.
Amis is the author of The Information. The book is about rivalry in the literary world, which some have said parallels Amis' own life. Britain's literary world was shocked when Amis demanded a half-million pound advance on The Information, supposedly to pay for his divorce and costly dental work, and then dumped his long-time agent, who was also the wife of his best friend. The New York Times has called The Information "an uncompromising and highly ambitious novel that should also be a big popular hit."
Rothfeder has just written a new book called "Privacy for Sale: How Computerization Has Made Everyone's Private Life an Open Secret." Using Dan Quayle and Dan Rather as examples, Rothfeder shows how easy it is to get access to a person's personal life -- such as a their birthdate, unlisted phone number, financial status, health status, and even what prescription drugs you take and where you shop -- all through a computer.
Sue Halpern has written the new book "Migrations to Solitude," which explores the other side of privacy: seclusion. She visited a monastery in Kentucky, whose monks have vowed a life of silence, a prisoner in solitary confinement, and others, drawing out what it's like to be inescapably alone, and how people's versions of privacy differ. (Pantheon Books)