As you no doubt know, however, we don’t. We really don’t. If anything, questions of technology and society seem to be piling up faster than we can address them. I started working for The Times four years ago. Before that, I had done a range of tech work: developing sites at small web shops, product work with startups, consulting for household name tech companies, and heavy involvement in a range of W3C work. One of the things that drew me to The New York Times was the opportunity to work on some of those big unanswered questions in collaboration with excellent teams and with a strong ethical mandate.
Of these issues, perhaps the most surprising to find still unsolved is privacy. Outside of the digital realm, we make multiple privacy decisions a day and typically find them obvious enough that we barely notice they’re there. Is it okay to read that stranger’s DMs over their shoulder? Can I recount that intimate detail that a friend shared with me? Will my doctor repeat what I tell them of my symptoms to my boss?