A new documentary examines the way in which sites like Google and Facebook can influence people’s thoughts through their control of private information.
Titled “The Creepy Line,” the film takes its name from a remark former Google CEO Eric Schmidt made years ago about concerns some had regarding his company’s handling of private information.
“There’s what I call the ‘creepy line,’ and the Google policy about a lot of these things is to get right up to the creepy line but not cross it,” Schmidt said at the time.
The documentary features interviews ranging from conservative Canadian professor Jordan Peterson to researcher Robert Epstein, who supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“The Creepy Line” had two premieres last month, one in New York City on Sept. 17 and then in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 19.
It’s scheduled for release later this month in select theaters, as well as through iTunes, Amazon, and special screening kits for those looking to host their own viewings.
M.A. Taylor, director of “The Creepy Line,” who also helped with other parts of the production, talked with The Christian Post on Tuesday. Below are excerpts from that interview.
CP: Why did you decide to help make this documentary?
Taylor: I’m a huge technology fan. I’ve followed technology my whole life. I love technology. I love opening a computer up and getting into the motherboard.
The rise of Facebook and Google has been something I’ve kept my eye on for years. And I think they did a lot of good things. I think Google did a lot of good things, disseminating information. Facebook did some amazing things connecting people. But I think, in addition, we’ve come to a point now where Google and Facebook have been discovered to do some very naughty things as well.
Especially, the EU has found a number of things. Whether it’s spying on our kids, whether it’s reading our emails, whether it’s scooping up all of our private information, whether it’s selling it to governments and/or law enforcement. And the thing is, these companies were always caught.
I think that with the level of intrusion they have in our daily life, whether its communication, education, transportation, we really need to sit down and say, ‘Hey, look, what’s the cost of a free email address? What’s the cost of using Google maps?’ And I don’t really think the cost is worth it for the average consumer and the average citizen.
CP: Some have argued that there should be increased regulation of sites like Google and Facebook. Do you agree with that conclusion?
Taylor: The film doesn’t particularly propose a specific answer.
Everybody in the film has a different answer. Epstein wants a public utility. Some people want regulation.
My personal opinion is this: is that we have to proceed with extreme caution because we don’t actually know the ramifications of any of these solutions yet. The thing is, we haven’t had this conversation in this country. They’ve had it in Europe and what we’re seeing in Europe, the EU has taken some very harsh positions on Google and Facebook, and some of the regulations they implemented will be very damaging. And so if we are going to use regulatory, or we’re going to use some other thing, we’re going to have to really figure out.
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Source: Christian Post