Howdy partner! The Private Citizen is a weekly data privacy podcast by veteran tech journalist Fabian A. Scherschel. On the show, I analyse news stories about the surveillance economy, data breaches and tracking technologies, all from the viewpoint of the pragmatic consumer.

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.


I release a new episode every Wednesday plus occasionally special episodes on top of that. You can subscribe to the show by searching for it its name within your favourite podcast app or using one of the following services:

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Episode 39: Bits and Bobs

An update on the Danish intelligence scandal, Google’s plans to learn all about the things you get up to in hotel rooms and how to find out if your favourite podcast is tracking your listening habits.

Episode 38: Immunity Passports

Immunity passports are a very old idea. And they have many problems, not all of them directly privacy-related. What are these problems and why are they, if anything, made worse by digital technology?

Episode 37: Unsecure Restaurant Contact Tracing Lists

In Germany, a large cloud service provider for restaurants was revealed to be horribly unsecure, possibly leaking tens of thousands of addresses, collected for mandatory coronavirus contact tracing, to the public.

Episode 36: The Importance of Whistleblowers

A recent scandal involving the military intelligence service in Denmark once again clearly demonstrates how important whistleblowers are to the general public.

Episode 35: Do Contact Tracing Apps Work?

Current research suggests that my initial hunch was correct: Measuring distances between phones via Bluetooth signals doesn’t work well. If at all.

Episode 34: Socialism Primer

By explaining what socialism means in its historical context, I aim to give listeners a better understanding of what the alternatives to capitalism are. Which is important for further discussions of the surveillance economy.

Episode 33: Privacy Shield is No More

The European Court of Justice has declared that the current measures for the exchange of private data between the EU and the US do not satisfy the data protection rights of EU citizens and are therefore illegal.

Episode 32: How to Hack End-to-End Encryption

The story of how police cracked the encryption of the EncroChat phone is not only important to criminals who used these devices, but also an interesting case study of how such systems are attacked in practice.

Episode 31: What Exactly Happened at Wirecard?

German fintech darling Wirecard has collapsed among allegations of fraud, money laundering and very underhanded practices. But the things coming to light about the company and its executive Jan Marsalek now are even more egregious than anything we had heard so far.

Episode 30: Privacy? Gotta EARN IT!

The EARN IT Act is on its way to become law in the US and might make it impossible for service providers to keep effective end-to-end encryption in place for their products. And with that, it seems the Crypto Wars are back in full swing.