“Terms and Conditions May Apply,” makes its debut at Slamdance 2013 today (January 23rd). Director Cullen Hoback takes a hard look at how website terms and conditions have changed over the years. I remember one example he features in the film – the website that changed its terms and conditions so you gave up your immortal soul. Most examples, however, are much more serious. Hoback documents how companies like Google eroded user privacy under the pressures of profit.
A Facebook joke brings the New York City SWAT to a comedian’s door. An anthropology professor in the U.K. is arrested for merely “thinking about the act of protest.” As Hoback explained, “I think privacy policies are there to take our privacy away, not to protect it. Privacy settings are there to make us feel like we are protected, but we are really just being protected from our friends, family, and co-workers in certain circumstances. But all that data is there and it can be accessed by the companies, by third parties, or accessed by developers”
More on the film can be found at their website, www.tacma.net