The Creepy Line, a new documentary by director M.A. Taylor, is now streaming at Amazon Prime. It provides an interesting and revealing look at how Google and Facebook influence their users' view of the world, and how the users we often presume to be the customers of these companies aren't really the customers. The users are, in fact, the product being sold to third parties. The Creepy Line takes its title from a description of Google once uttered by Google executive Eric Schmidt who said Google's mission was to "get right up to the creepy line and not cross it." In truth, though, by pioneering the "surveillance business model," Google has arguably been stepping over "the creepy line" for years. Not that this has been much of a problem for the company. Few users seem motivated to stop using Google products. It is perhaps in its basic explanations of how this surveillance model works that The Creepy Line is most interesting: the filmmakers explain in simple terms how a small number...
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