Cullen Hoback | We Don’t Have a Privacy Problem

Every search we make, everywhere we walk with a cell phone in our pockets, every photo we take gets added to our “digital self”—a person who is fragmented across different servers around the world, and shared by different companies. But, as filmmaker Cullen Hoback reminds us, this digital analogue of you is not owned by you—and any effort to regain digital privacy must begin with restoring your property right to your digital self.

Cullen Hoback is an American filmmaker and digital rights advocate who toured the world with his documentary TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY. But after making an entire film about digital privacy, Hoback realized we’ve been getting the digital privacy debate all wrong. “When we talk about privacy online,” he argues, “we’re not talking about the right thing. You cannot have privacy unless you have ownership–not shared ownership, real ownership.” Hoback's latest project, the blockbuster HBO docuseries "Q: Into the Storm," shines a light on QAnon, a conspiracy movement based on postings from an anonymous account that purports to be a national security insider with so-called Q-level clearance. Over the series' six episodes, Hoback seeks the identity of the person or people behind the group.The film has garnered extensive media coverage, including this Washington Post article on Hoback's theory of who is behind QAnon (the individual denies it), and Cullen Hoback's conversation with reporter Meredith Baker of the Los Angeles Times. You can also listen to Hoback discuss his project on the Fever Dreams podcast.