“Are you guys recording? Can you please not?”
— Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, who has an unplanned cameo in the new documentary “Terms and Conditions May Apply.” (Preview below) Filmmaker Cullen Hoback, who had asked Zuckerberg his thoughts on privacy, replied that he would turn the camera off, but AFP reports he continued to record with “spy glasses” — probably Google Glass, because he told The Next Web he has a pair of them.
The film explores privacy in the Internet age — its release, limited so far, is excellent timing amid the recent revelations about the NSA’s Prism surveillance program. It’s critical of Silicon Valley tech companies as well as the government. Hoback, whose last documentary provided a glimpse into the world of live-action role-playing, worked on “Terms and Conditions” for two years.
Hoback said he got what he wanted from Zuckerberg: “I just wanted him to say, ‘Look, I don’t want you to record me,’ and I wanted to say, ‘Look, I don’t want you to record us’.”
A couple of other notable quotes from Hoback’s interviews with the AFP:
I think the craziest thing about this whole experience is that I didn’t realize I was making a horror film.
Everything that’s happened around Snowden and the PRISM scandal and the consistent revelations that are coming out right now are, I think, elevating interest in the film to a whole new level.
The Next Web urged Hoback to “name and shame,” and he did:
Terms and conditions are designed not to be read. They’re designed to be invisible, and they’re designed to be unapproachable.
LinkedIn’s is abysmal. It’s the most over-reaching, ridiculous and shouldn’t be allowed to exist contract out there that I found.
Apple’s goes to the point of saying that you’re not allowed to use their technology for nuclear warfare.
Twitter and Reddit are the two gold standards. At least in terms of how they’ve handled user privacy.
I don’t think a lot of people when they started using Gmail, or any of these services, really understood what they were giving up, what the potential cost is of this trade. …I don’t think it’s fair to call these services free.
By the way, the documentary is getting good reviews.
From the Los Angeles Times:
In inverse proportion to typically long-winded, inscrutable terms of service, the film is concise, direct and thoroughly engaging.
From the Chicago Tribune:
A smart, agile doc sweetened with bits and bobs of relevant pop culture.
Photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg from Palo Alto Daily News archives