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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  1. David Dawson

    Sharing is caring!

    Care bear stare!

    1. Oh Homer Silver badge
      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.

  2. Ralph B

    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?

  3. WonkoTheSane
    Trollface

    "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

    So... Apple, then?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Alexa, play The Circle on my Fire TV"

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

    1. Electron Shepherd

      Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

      So... Apple, then?

      What shape is Apple's new HW building?

      Coincidence? I think not!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

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

        Asshole shaped?

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        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.

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          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.

        2. Uffish

          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 !!!

          1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

            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...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          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.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      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.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        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.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          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.

      2. Naselus

        Re: Cuddly?

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

        At least 1 of his incarnations in Cloud Atlas.

    3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

        Don't tell him, Pike!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    5. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

      FaceGoo

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

        GooFace - sorry, pretty obvious really

    6. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

      More like Windows 10-era Microsoft, actually.

    7. joed

      Re: "an amalgamation of Google and Facebook"

      more like MS

  5. John Lilburne Silver badge

    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.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Stop posting to this thread ...

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

  6. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

    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.

  7. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge

    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.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      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.

  8. AdamT

    Black Mirror

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

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Black Mirror

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

      1. Synonymous Howard

        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/

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          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...

  9. Rocketist
    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.

  10. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge

    "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 -->

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      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.

  11. Craig McGill 1

    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...

    1. Jess--

      Re: Is the book worth a read?

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

      1. Craig McGill 1

        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...

    2. ThisPlaceInTime

      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.

      1. Craig McGill 1

        Re: Is the book worth a read?

        Ta! About to order!

    3. David 18

      Re: Is the book worth a read?

      Yes definitely. The creepiness builds nicely.

  12. 27escape

    Mix of google/facebook

    Surely its apple?

    1. Poncey McPonceface
      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.

      1. TheDillinquent
        Trollface

        Re: Mix of google/facebook

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

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Mix of google/facebook

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

  13. Velv Silver badge
    Gimp

    Tom Hanks

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

    1. Tikimon Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Tom Hanks

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

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      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.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    Sponsored: Customer Identity and Access Management

    Nice!

  15. ForthIsNotDead 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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