This fascinating Netflix documentary was created in 2013 before Snowden and is still relevant and worth watching even in 2018. With the back drop of the EU’s recent GDPR law as well as Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal, the same concerns of today are still the same concerns of the documentary in 2013.
It’s interesting to note that the documentary also pointed out that Privacy concerns were already an issue back in 2000. It seemed like many people were concerned or started to be concerned about the data tracking and gathering by the Internet companies. As the popularity of the Internet increases (hello dot com bubble!), citizens started to pressure their Congressional representatives to take up the Privacy issue following examples of bankrupt companies selling off user data. The documentary posits that the post 9/11 Patriot Act squashed any effort for Internet privacy legislation. In fact, the documentary implies that the Patriot Act implicitly allowed the tech companies to collect user data under the guise of collecting data for the government to prevent another 9/11 level attack. The documentary also points out the contradictions many tech companies (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Spotify, etc…) have publicly stated about Privacy that opposes to their actual business practices. But after years of using these tech companies’ products, users have grown so accustomed to their daily use that Privacy seems to be just a secondary after thought until incidents like the Cambridge Analytica occurs.
If there’s anything to take away from this documentary… it’s that citizens need to really start thinking about privacy.