Trust me, I know all about you.

Editor's Letter

When talking about data privacy it’s easy to get philosophical. As we researched this issue, we found ourselves discussing online behavior, our perception of how cookies had changed the user experience and what “identity” and “anonymity” mean. We were shocked at how many ways people are recording and dealing in our personal information. The novelist Walter Kirn summed up how we felt in his recent article in The Atlantic: “If You’re not Paranoid, You’re Crazy.” Ironically, in order to tell this story we needed to know how you, the public, felt about this – how you’ve behaved. We needed your data.

Decision-making is increasingly reliant on “the numbers to back it up,” and the data samples are expected to be bigger than ever. No wonder we fear Orwellian surveillance and are puzzled by how Google knows we had contemplated a kale cleanse when we hadn’t even used a related search term.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has just been passed by the EU Commission, has brought the question of data privacy into the foreground. In our cover story (“Private Lives”, p 12), we look at how the Viennese view privacy and in what ways it has shaped the culture and legislation of our city.  The international feature (“The Real Challenge” p 18) investigates how the first data released on the education levels asylum seekers has shifted the debate.

As always, we’ve created some visuals  for you on data sharing and usage (“Quotes Stats & Numbers”, p 10). In order to see how the GDPR will effect companies over the next few years, we spoke to the first group of professionals who will make a killing on this legislation: lawyers (“The Oil of the 21st Century”, p 28). And just to keep you ahead of the game, we’ve compiled a list of secret agent data-hacks (“How to…  be a Data-Savvy Spy”, p 26).

Our identities also go beyond what we choose to divulge online, which is why we look into questions of genome security (“Protecting Genetic Privacy”, p 32), and further still into matters of discretion.

In our profiles we talk to a private eye, an escort, a bar owner and a tech journalist about how privacy is vital to their jobs (“My Business, Not Yours”, p 22). In our City Life feature we take you to the legendary Hotel Orient, where 300 years of lust have given it Viennese cult status (“Vienna’s No-tell Hotel”, p 37). Finally, we gave British Ambassador Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque the last word on the subject, about the differences between how the U.K. and Austria view privacy.

We have also have mined your posts and comments to give you the events, insights and reviews you’re looking for. You may think we’re always watching, but nevertheless…

don’t be a stranger,