Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Documentary: Terms and conditions may apply

This blog and its authors spend a considerable amount of time reasoning on terms and conditions, privacy online and possible combinations of the two. Of course, this is a matter that non-lawyers might also be interested in seen how it concerns the lives of more or less everybody- at least among those living in richer, hyperconnected countries. 

In this case, film director Cullen Hoback has worked three years to produce a documentary on internet services terms of use and the way companies make profits (which, is, by the way, their legitimate reason for existence) out of apparently "free" services.

The documentary both reflects on "hot" issues such as the instrumentalisation of information held by service providers to governmental ends (think of Prism!) and shows less scary-but nonetheless grotesque- aspects of the phenomenon.
Interviewed for an Italian magazine, mr. Hoback recalled for instance that in 2009 GameStation added mentions to the user's "immortal soul" being involved in the contract- a detail that went long unnoticed. Still today, again according to the director, Apple disclaims liability in case their products are used in the context of "nuclear war".
On the other hand, the film shows how serious threats to individual liberties can originate from intelligence and security service's ability to access personal (yet public) communications on social networks, stimulating awareness on the way we tend to thoughtlessly disclose information to an unidentified audience. 

Curious? You can find more info here.

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