Is it legal for police to track suspected criminals using location data from their cellphone providers? Should people have the right to have their personal data deleted from databases and websites? Are privacy concerns about apps like TikTok warranted? How might our lives change when we can be identified by surveillance cameras by our faces or even just the way that we walk?

Welcome to Season 4 of One-Time Pod. These are just a few of the hard questions about privacy and surveillance we tackle this season, through episodes produced by students in Derek Bruff’s spring 2021 first-year writing seminar. Each episode tells a story from the recent history of cryptography, one that explores the role of encryption in the world today.

For more on Dr. Bruff’s first-year seminar on cryptography, visit the course homepage: For more on his podcast assignment, read his 2019 blog post, “Building a Better Podcast Assignment,” available here: And for more examples of student-produced audio, check out Dr. Bruff’s other podcast, VandyVox:

Intro music: “To Be Decided,” Mystery Mammal, CC-BY