Across East Africa, different regimes are experimenting with various ways of reclaiming control of the often-perceived ‘volatile’ social media and private messaging spaces. Yet, these platforms are the main ways of news exposure thus calling attention to how these tactics manifest in the patterns and practices of news consumption. This study positions trust within the broader discourses of surveillance as well as the socio-cultural context within which trust and privacy form part of public debates. While there is a widespread agreement that artificial Intelligence and algorithms have reconfigured the information—including news— distribution and consumption in the global south, it is not clear how they have shaped the understanding of trust and privacy among users its community of users. Point often overlooked, news is more than just ‘news’; it connects the ‘self’ to the immediate ‘world’, and at the same time brings the ‘world’ to the ‘self’. With this in mind, the inherent tensions of balancing how much information on/or about the ‘self’ the world need to know, and how much of the world the ‘self’ needs to know, raises fundamental issues on trust and privacy. Preliminary findings show that trust and privacy are two peas in a pod, they are inextricably linked and mutually reinforcing; two broad understandings of trust emerged, namely: vertical trust i.e. trust in societal institutions and ‘horizontal’ trust i.e. trust in each other. On the one hand, technical affordances, for instance, privacy settings and other provisions such as the use of passwords, Personal Identification Numbers (PIN), fingerprints, and voice commands among other security features emerged as the technical measures of guaranteeing online privacy and security.