In an 1981 interview with Steve Jobs, he says the following:
There is a common conception that people have of computers which is more along the lines of "1984"; very large, very centralized computers. And I know the privacy issue is very very hot in the media these days."
What specifically was he referring to about privacy? It sounds like he had something particular in mind. But he doesn't really elaborate, and the interviewer doesn't probe any further (which might be a tacit acknowledgement that Jobs' perception about it being "hot" was accurate?)
Its easy for us today (2021) to recognize many computer/web privacy issues. Projecting that backwards seems tempting but back in an era when most things people would encounter were pre-digital its not clear to me what the concern was (not to say it was invalid). I think some subset of financial and government records that would affect 'normal' people would have been computerized at that time, but probably not very much else?
The date of the interview is said to be 2/18/1981, though I don't know when it would have actually aired. Presumably he is referring to something that occurred around then?
(video link at about the time where he makes that statement - time 10:14 in the actual video, but timecode 19:30:58 is shown onscreen)