Where do you go online? What sites do you jump to and what does it say about you? Do you even know what metadata is? The Canadian documentary filmmaker Brett Gaylor wants to educate you on just how much the web knows about you in his informative seven-part interactive docu-series “Do Not Track” that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival as part of the transmedia Storyscapes showcase.
Most citizens of the world are unaware of how much information websites and applications collect about them. Sure, enabling cookies gets you served up ads that cater to your gender and tastes, but it is the metadata that has everyone from Edward Snowden to the White House to Internet privacy activists (like Golden Frog) concerned.
“Do Not Track” explores the inner workings of the web by giving you opportunities to experience the full backend power of your “harmless” logins and acceptance of terms to see what type of private information you are actually giving away.
“We have assumptions that our data footprint is banal, but companies use correlations to sell us things or make predictions about us,” said Brett Gaylor director of “Do Not Track.”
In this new world of Big Data, shady digital corporate agendas now include creating eerily invasive shadow profiles of your online selves that know all about you. The same big picture of you that you think is only for you to know. What that means is where you go on the web, what you say, what you look at, these all leave a small diaspora of breadcrumb trails that when pumped into a database platform with a fancy algorithm spits out you, like all of you. Years and years of you online. Parts of you that surely you don’t even remember being from you.
Think of all the graveyard profiles you have created over the years from Friendster to Monster to whatever. They are still out there and every time you login through Facebook’s universal login, or check the box accepting terms of service you are allowing all of the past and present pieces of you to form the total you profile, which is so accurate, you might not even recognize yourself.
Why does this matter if you have nothing to hide? Because someday it might affect you in ways you have not begun to imagine from buying insurance, to getting a job, to applying for a loan.
Gaylor isn’t trying to scare users, rather educate and inform. He put together this top 5 list of ways to protect your privacy.
“Do Not Track” is groundbreaking in its interactive and immersive customized transmedia storytelling technique that guarantees a different experience from user to user based on the data provided and revealed. If you grant access to your data, “Do Not Track” will show you what the web knows about you. Everyone can benefit from this peek behind the digital curtain as privacy concerns will only continue. Starting on April 14 a new episode will be released until the series completion on June 15.