Is Facebook a public utility? Yes, says filmmaker Cullen Hoback.
Hoback is behind the new documentary about digital privacy called Terms and Conditions May Apply. The title refers to the privacy policies one must agree to to use Facebook, Google, AT&T and practically any other digital service in 2013.
"Everything in our digital lives has this contract associated with it," says Hoback. "Everything moved into 1s and 0s and 1s and 0s can be tracked and traced."
Hoback says that the tracking of data has made a cosy relationship between big data companies and the government. "You have the companies making a fortune off of our data and you have the government getting something that its wanted for a very long time, which is this sort of unprecented access to all of the information of all of its citizens."
The creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, unvoluntarily appears in the documentary after Hoback appears outside his house wearing Google Glass eyewear and a few cameramen--a cinematic event that Hoback claims shows the hypocracy of Facebook's transparency.
"We turned off the main camera and he really loosened up. [...] I think what he reveals in that moment is that when you stop recording, when you no longer feel surveilled, you can open up and be more yourself actually," says Hoback.
The film's website links to websites that promise more digital privacy than mainstream websites like Google or Facebook and the sister site of the film, trackoff.net, shows viewers how they can get politicians to check out the film.
Interview by Paul Detrick. Camera by Alex Manning and Sharif Matar.
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