homepage_imageIn My Opinion
It’s No Longer 1984

John Fiske

What do Hulk Hogan, Erin Andrews and an antiques dealer on 1stdibs have in common? However much that sounds like the opening of a bad joke, it isn’t. They’ve all suffered from our lack of a common definition of privacy in the age of surveillance. Hogan and Andrews had “intimate” (to say the least) videos of themselves posted on the internet where they were seen by millions. The 1stdibs dealer has “private” conversations listened to and controlled by 1stdibs.

Hogan was awarded more than $100 million in damages, and Andrews more than $50 million. If the 1stdibs dealer went to court, he’d lose. The juries who awarded lottery-sized fortunes to the celebrities explained to TV viewers that keeping private life private was, in their eyes, a fundamental right and that they wanted to send a strong message about how important it was.