The Private Citizen is a weekly politics podcast covering issues of privacy and technology by veteran freelance journalist Fabian A. Scherschel. It places a particular emphasis on analysing primary sources and enabling the listener to think for themselves. The goal is to develop a pragmatic approach to problems and to possible solutions for them. While obviously coloured by the opinions of the host, the show strives to hear opposing viewpoints as much as possible.

This podcast will always be free of charge and free of advertisements. It is listener supported via Patreon under the value-for-value model. I see this as the only way to stay independent and produce ethically sound journalistic work, especially in these trying times of misinformation and partisan divisons.


I release a new episode every Wednesday plus occasionally extra episodes when the times call for it. You can subscribe to the show by searching for it its name within your favourite podcast app or using one of the following means:

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Episode 57: All Your Data Are Belong to Us

Why does medical data not belong to the patients? What does that do to science and hospital care? Plus: Why Visa cancelled their bid to buy the fintech startup Plaid.

Episode 56: Getting off the WhatsApp Grid

Should you leave WhatsApp because it is sending data to Facebook? And what about Matrix? Does a federated protocol actually have a chance to replace messengers like WhatsApp?

Episode 55: One Year Anniversary

Today, the podcast turns one year old. To celebrate, I answer AMA-style questions from the show’s producers. It’s a bit of a change of pace, but at the end of it, you will know your host much better.

Episode 54: Hodl the Stonks

How a number of couch investors ruined some Wall Street guys using a mobile app. And why the Wall Street guys really don’t care. And what it means for the future.

Episode 53: Clippy in Your Car

It looks like you’ve had an accident! Every new car sold in the EU has a black box in it that will activate the car’s microphone and call emergency services in the event of a crash, supplying them with the car’s location. A system that’s ripe for explotation as spyware.

Episode 52: A President for All Americans

Donald Trump has left the White House and Joe Biden is now President. What does that mean for the future of the US and beyond? I look back at what happened with Trump and forward at the future with my guest Michael Mullan-Jensen.

Episode 51: The Twitter Coup

After an angry mob stormed the US Capitol last week, Twitter and other social media companies embarked on an unprecedented power grab for control of the public’s opinion.

Episode 50: The Year 2020 in Review

A look back at the first year of this podcast, the topics covered and how the show changed with them.

Episode 49: Crypto Wars Redux

Ever since the Cold War, intelligence services and their sympathisers in Western governments have worked tirelessy to prevent everyday citizens from utilising effective encryption to shield their lives from prying eyes. When the Clipper chip failed, these people switched to influencing legislation to get what they want. And now they are at it again.

Episode 48: Trump, Biden and the Role of the Media

A conversation about how Joe Biden won the election, how Trump lost it, what the media had to do with it and what this means for the future.