back to article Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges

The Circle, Dave Eggers' novel about a society dominated by an omniscient, cult-like Silicon Valley internet company, has been given the big-screen treatment, with the trailer emerging this week. The movie's promo site has a witty parody of the "onboarding" process for a web platform – enjoy the unreadable EULA as it flashes …

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Care bear stare!

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Headmaster

"Robbing The Commons"

Well, certainly that may be how this fictional story characterises it, however that's a rather disingenuous jab at the principle of open access to knowledge, since real world movements that advocate such freedom (e.g. the Free Software Foundation) are quite clearly talking about that which is published, not that which is private.

Anything which is not published has no bearing on The Commons, since it was never public knowledge to begin with, and you can't really claim to be limited by a lack of access to something you don't even know exists (even if such information might actually turn out to be useful).

The true essence of open access to knowledge is (literally) academic. It's about collaboration, scientific progress and education, not freeloading, spying and spamvertising.

Naturally the monopolistic "IP" fraternity may see things differently, since their objective is greed, not progress.

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Anonymous Coward

"Alexa, play The Circle on my Fire TV"

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."

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Joke

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."

Why post AC if you are just going to blurt your name out in the text?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why post AC if you are just going to blurt your name out in the text?

Don't tell him, Pike!

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Trollface

"an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

So... Apple, then?

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Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

So... Apple, then?

What shape is Apple's new HW building?

Coincidence? I think not!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

"What shape is Apple's new HW building?"

Asshole shaped?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

So... Apple, then?

Not quite. Here's a little slip of the veil of confidentiality by an application developer.

So far, Apple's the only one who has NOT started to profile its users in the creepiest way possible.

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Joke

Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

Yes but Apple did this to stop their managers from fighting over the prestige of having a corner office.

And I would have said its a cylinder because I live in a 3D world.

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Coat

Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

@ IMG

Actually -- I suspect there are corners on that cylinder. In the basement, inner and outer edges. 'Course those corner offices have a different sort of "prestige" attached.

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Re: "a cylinder"

I thought that Apple decided that inward facing offices were very much higher status than outward facing, and that all the windows were curved in both the vertical and horizontal directions.

Ahh, donuts !!!

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Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

FaceGoo

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Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

More like Windows 10-era Microsoft, actually.

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Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

more like MS

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Re: "a cylinder"

Any chance that Apple will sue GCHQ over how their doughnut looks? They must have a patent on houses with round corners lying around somewhere...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

GooFace - sorry, pretty obvious really

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

"And I would have said its a cylinder because I live in a 3D world."

Fascinating. I'm in a Barbie world therefore I would have to say its plastic and probably fantastic.

That said I'm not actually a Barbie girl, I just commute here I therefore bring zero credibility to this theory.

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Cuddly?

> We'll see if Tom Hanks is too cuddly for the role of the sinister Zuck or Schmidt-style corporate overlord.

Is "cuddly" some politically correct euphemism for "old" now then?

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Re: Cuddly?

Is "cuddly" some politically correct euphemism for "old" now then?

I don't think I can recall Hanks in a "nasty" role before, so I think that's what Andrew means.

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Re: Cuddly?

"I don't think I can recall Hanks in a "nasty" role before, so I think that's what Andrew means."

Road to Perdition?

Anything based on a Dan Brown book surely qualifies as nasty too... And "Mazes and Monsters" certainly is nasty.

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Re: Cuddly?

I think he'll do a good job of cuddly public persona with something nasty going on behind the scenes.

Bit like Zuck really.

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Re: Cuddly?

"I don't think I can recall Hanks in a "nasty" role before"#

At least 1 of his incarnations in Cloud Atlas.

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Stop posting to this thread ...

... and upload your last night pub photos, kid in bath photos, and cat videos, or and whilst you are at it lets have some more likes, and pluses from you, your interaction rate is way way down.

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Alien

Re: Stop posting to this thread ...

My interaction rate is so low, Facebook have stopped spamming me.

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Having read the book...

It will be interesting to see if the film has the bit about filling out surveys as part of the job.

There's a nice little twist in there that I haven't seen any reviewer pick up on.

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Google Conspiracy?

A Google search for "the circle" or "we are the circle" currently doesn't return http://wearethecircle.com/. There are "high quality psychic mediums" in the results, though. Bing is even worse, however - at least Google returns a couple of Wikipedia hits, so I assume the site is just too recent to have been noticed, or highly ranked.

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Re: Google Conspiracy?

Try this: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=the+circle+movie%5C I'm getting a lot of hits for it.

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Black Mirror

Didn't Charlie Brooker already do this in one of his "Black Mirror" episodes?

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Re: Black Mirror

Go back further and look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Faith_%28novel%29 Blind Faith by Ben Elton

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Re: Black Mirror

Or even the BBC's 2008 "The Last Enemy" which had Cumberbatch trying to escape the Total Information Awareness database.

But the first one I fondly remember watching was the "IT Thriller" in the eighties, Bird of Prey, with the late great Richard "uncle monty" Griffiths ... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/07/monitor_bird_of_prey_retrospective/

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Re: Black Mirror

BC's 2008 "The Last Enemy" which had Cumberbatch

That movie resulted in an interesting dialogue in our family.

SWMBO, horrfied: "Just how real is this..."

Me: Much more real than you think. It was prophetic (as it came out before latest revelations), we found out it to be not far from a documentary.

SWMBO: "I take back every single instance of calling you paranoid".

It will be interesting to give her this one to watch...

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Pint

If the movie can catch the eerie feeling of the novel -

it'll be worth watching. But then it probably won't, as that was a bit too eerie for the general movie public. Beer to fortify yourselves.

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"enjoy the unreadable EULA as it flashes past"

By visiting the site, you do grant the Circle the right to interfere with the operation or use of your sites through any means or device including, but not limited to, spamming, hacking, uploading computer viruses or time bombs, or any other means.

In applicable states, your family members, including children three (3) years of age and older may be confiscated for failure to comply

Trust us, we're not breaking antitrust laws.

Users may also have their citizenship revoked for failure to comply with the aforementioned community guidelines. If it happens, we'll know.

And Oh, the Irony: <!-- GOOGLE ANALYTICS TAG -->

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Re: "enjoy the unreadable EULA as it flashes past"

And Oh, the Irony: <!-- GOOGLE ANALYTICS TAG -->

The Privacy statement has in addition to cookies, Flash Cookies, Web Beacons, and "We may associate your IP address with the PII you provide."

Though for once, the Privacy Policy (4,550 words) and the Terms of Service (7,008 words) are readable and not squashed into a tiny letterbox as seen on Youtube.

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Is the book worth a read?

Only got the new Expanse book to look forward to (tomorrow) so could do with something else for reading to pad out the time until the new Stross in January...

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Re: Is the book worth a read?

Cheers for the info, I had missed the new expanse book

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Re: Is the book worth a read?

Craig, if you haven't already read it I can recommend The Bell Ringers by Henry Porter.

It's a story along the same kind of lines but with a particularly British venality and it's quite chilling.

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Re: Is the book worth a read?

Ta! About to order!

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Re: Is the book worth a read?

Came out yesterday in the US but for some reason there's a two day delay to UK...

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Re: Is the book worth a read?

Yes definitely. The creepiness builds nicely.

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Mix of google/facebook

Surely its apple?

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Gimp

Re: Mix of google/facebook

I read a good portion of the book, the corp is a mash-up of the big G and the big F … the corp does both search and social. G+ uses circles. It may be a coincidence that the new Apple HQ is toroidal.

Eggers is a superb writer, this isn't your average sci-fi dystopian schlock. Here's a review of it by Margaret Atwood in the New York Review of Books.

There are very few authors that both write decent prose and do sci-fi. Orwell, Atwood, Vonnegut, Gibson, spring to mind immediately. Eggers I'd count among their numbers after The Circle.

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Trollface

Re: Mix of google/facebook

You forgot Banks, although he hasn't written much recently.

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Thumb Up

Re: Mix of google/facebook

I would read Iain Zombie Banks as much as I liked reading Iain M Banks

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Gimp

Tom Hanks

As featured in the trailer Tom Hanks reminds me more of Steve Jobs

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Devil

Re: Tom Hanks

Steve Jobs? That qualifies for sinister corporate overlord...

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Re: Tom Hanks

I thought that too. When I read "Tom Hanks", I thought "WTF?" (never liked the dude). However, when I saw him in the clip, I thought that this might actually be the ideal role for him.

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Anonymous Coward

After reading the article, I look down and saw...

Sponsored: Customer Identity and Access Management

Nice!

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Silver badge

Blind Faith

Reminds me of Blind Faith by Ben Elton.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Faith_(novel)

Doubleplusgood.

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