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As consumers turn apathetic toward information collecting online — and Washington cracks down on foreign-owned apps like TikTok — the urgency of data privacy and protection seems increasingly unavoidable in daily life.

“Technically Optimistic,” a podcast from Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective, seeks to address that in ways that don’t make the average listener’s eyes glaze over.

“I’m trying to break this information down in a way that my mother-in-law would find interesting,” said Raffi Krikorian, host of the series which began a Season 2 rollout in April.

Krikorian is the chief technology officer at Emerson Collective, which Jobs founded to bolster education, the environment, immigration and health equity through philanthropy. and investment. The portfolio operation also counts a strategic backing of Hollywood production and talent representation firm Anonymous Content.

Krikorian was the first CTO at the Democratic National Committee, in addition to stints at Uber and the former Twitter (now named X). His show looks beyond the established dangers of a digital presence (leaks, scams, false narratives and the safety of young people in these spaces) to seek larger solutions.

“I’m curious about the consequences of these decisions we’re making, and what is the bigger information economy we’re living in,” he said.

The new season touches on the nefarious use of data and the surprising consequences that can have. Women avoiding even the most basic medical care at Planned Parenthood in select states, for instance, so legislators will not have access to previous behaviors if they seek procedures like abortions at other locations.

The Season 2 kick-off featured a conversation with engineer and inventor of the “cookie,” Lou Montulli. Upcoming guests include Senator Richard Blumenthal, who discusses the Child Online Protection Act; Marvel Cinematic Universe player Clark Gregg to discuss AI and the individual as intellectual property; and New York Times tech writer Kashmir Hill, who evaluates the current state of surveillance in American cities.  

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