As you might now, Cory Doctorow is on a book tour right now to promote For the Win, his latest novel. He was interviewed by Aleks Krotolski of the Guardian. Here's an excerpt:
Your young adult novels are concerned with the political issues surrounding new technologies, such as questions of privacy. Why?
Kids' relationship with privacy is really confused; they're told by teachers and adults that their privacy is paramount, that they should stop disclosing so much information on Facebook and so on. And then they go to schools where everything they do is monitored; there's mandatory spyware that takes every click they make, every word they utter and sends it back to teachers and headmasters for disciplinary purposes.
When they go out in public, they're photographed every five minutes and there are signs that prohibit taking any affirmative step to hide themselves from scrutiny or maintain any privacy.
So on the one hand, we're telling kids that their privacy is the most important thing in the world and that they have to guard it as jealously as anything that matters to them. On the other hand, we're systematically depriving them of their privacy and punishing them for asserting it.