The Man Spending $500 Million to Restore Your Digital Privacy

Seems like I hit a nerve.

Earlier this week, I shared my thoughts on a ban or forced sale of social media platform TikTok. The Chinese Communist Party can use it to surveil and manipulate Americans, and we should ban it immediately. Many of you sent thoughtful feedback, which I appreciate.

China’s influence is only one of the problems with social media. We have a bigger problem, not just with social media but the entire internet. We’ve lost our privacy.

The problem is so grave that people under age 30 have no concept of online privacy whatsoever. They’ve always had digital lives on Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, or TikTok—whatever the app of the moment happens to be. For many, this has diminished their quality of life, hindered their ability to form real relationships, and in extreme cases proven lethal.

Meanwhile, no one told these young people that they were the product.

Today, I’m asking for your help with my next Global Macro Update interview, which I’ll share with you next week. I’m speaking with Frank McCourt, the executive chairman of McCourt Global (and former LA Dodgers owner). He’s also the founder of Project Liberty and co-author of the just-released book, Our Biggest Fight.

Frank has pledged $500 million of his personal fortune to making the internet and social media safer for all of us, especially our children.

This comes down to restoring our privacy. Frank wants a practical way to let individuals decide what personal information tech platforms can track and share—and with whom. He wants to put people back in control of their information.

This movement to reclaim control from Big Tech is quickly becoming a groundswell. It has big implications for investors, too.

Take META (aka Facebook), for example. As I write, shares are trading around $505. The company, which employs 60,000 people, has a $1.294 trillion market cap on revenue of $134.9 billion. Its price-to-earnings ratio is 34.35.

This behemoth is controlled by one of the richest tech bros on Earth. You could argue that Mr. Zuckerberg is directly responsible for much of the social angst, election manipulation, and declining mental health many experience daily. He built his fortune by twisting the internet into something few anticipated or wanted.

He also built wealth for shareholders, which I fully support. But let’s be frank about how that happened.

What will tech billionaires like Zuckerberg, Musk, or Bezos do when they face losing access to their treasure trove of data? Will they finally fess up to doing more harm than good and work to restore privacy? Or will they fight efforts to take back our data?

The righteous path is clear. What is not clear is which companies, if any, will take it. Businesses that do will find new ways to generate revenue. I support that and remain, as always, pro-business. But true capitalism is based on free exchange. When your only choice is relinquishing your private data or living totally off the grid, is it really a choice?

Personally, I’m rooting for Frank McCourt, and I look forward to sharing my conversation with him next week.

Here’s where I ask you a favor. If you have some free time this weekend, please check out the information at or pick up a copy of the book by the same name. Then hit the comment link below and let me know your thoughts.

I’ll send you a link to our interview next Tuesday.

Thanks for reading.

Ed D’Agostino
Publisher & COO


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