Illustration by Joe Kim

In Brussels he spoke of courage, of defending principles, of cultivating a ‘healthy suspicion of authority.’ He lavished praise on the GDPR, and called for a new comprehensive privacy law in the United States. He admonished the practice of collecting personal data and demolished big tech’s favorite talking point, that privacy for users needs to be weighed against profit. He quoted Thoreau. It wasn’t exactly the speech you might have expected from the CEO of the worlds’ most successful tech company.

“The act of listening has greater ethical potential than speaking” — Julietta Singh

Jer Thorp is an artist, writer & teacher. He is Innovator-in-Residence at the Library of Congress. His book Living in Data will be published in 2020 by MCDxFSG.