Combining different sets of information together into one circle account

When Mae said she want all the people have to vote through the circle account and all the data are bond to circle account, its basically taking government position. Once this plan is actualized, most people working for government agencies will lose job. There will  be no need to have a physically place provided for people to vote. Information collection jobs will also disappear.


This company tried to combine all kinds of information into one data base, so it will beat all the other data base companies, and data mining companies. Because too many features are implemented into one camera, all other camera companies will have no market space and will bankrupt. Just like what happened to Eastman Kodak Company.[1] When digital camera invented, it completely beats those cameras with photographic plate. The whole photographic plate industry gone because of digital camera.

In the movie, all the companies involved in camera production, data collection, data mining, etc, will be badly effected and most of them will bankrupt. All the jobs in these companies will disappear.

[1]: “Kodak ditches digital camera business”. CNN. February 9, 2012.


Errors, Failures, and Risks

During her broadcasting, it accidentally record Mae’s parents having sex

People can be totally transparent, but things like going bathroom should be well protected. However, sometimes, people might forget to turn off the cameras and cause embarrassment. A better system could be invent to auto detecting what people are doing and turn itself off when its recording people in bathroom etc.

Using soul search on Mercer and it kills him

When everyone looking for Mercer, he was overreacting and accidentally drive the car off the bridge. When everyone becomes transparent, some individual might don’t like this. They don’t want other’s attention. However, once everyone is transparent, massive of information will be posted, general public will put their attention on those important people what they are interested not people like Mercer. Without Mae’s presentation, he will never get world’s attention.

In this movie, this technology is shown as perfect and flawlessly. We mainly shows the errors, failures, and risks in the human computer interaction aspect. However, in real world, a perfect system never exists. There always some way that can be improved and some vulnerabilities that cause system not reliable as shown.

Intellectual Property

Sharing Memories:

In Mae’s speech, she says not sharing memories/experiences is stealing, but the memories of the individual are the intellectual property of the individual. It might not be fair to say not sharing is stealing, but sharing experiences does benefits the society. If everyone is sharing his or her experiences, it would help by improving the efficiency  of the society since experiences are building up and no one needs to start from scratch in doing something. Sharing personal memories and experiences also lets everyone getting closer to each other.

Information Collection and Aggregation:

During the movie there were two major forms of technology that worked to collect and aggregate user data. True You was used voluntarily by the populace as data aggregation platform for a wide variety of of personal accounts. This ultimately has no inference in Intellectual Property because the individuals seed consent for usage of information and the assumptions that can be made from it, to the Circle when signing up for the service.

However, the second form of technology was the SeeChange Cameras. These cameras could be and were placed everywhere to constantly collect and aggregate data, based on the areas they video tape. If we assume all of these cameras are placed so that they view public property, where there is no reasonable assumption of privacy then it is not a violation of the individual’s rights to have their pictures taken. Therefore, then any cameras placed properly would not violate the rights of an individual. While these images cannot be used for monetary gain without consent, the images are not being used for gain, but for public data collection. Therefore, the cameras do violate the intellectual property of the individuals being videotaped.

Freedom of Speech

Senator Williamson is investigated by the FBI after she openly against the Circle by saying it may have violated the antitrust law. However this is not the fault of the technology. Instead, it is Eamon Bailey’s improper use of his power that leads to the result. If everyone goes transparent, including people like Bailey, it would be hard for this kind of thing to happen again.


Soul Search

Soul Search is a program that uses cameras and people all over the world to in order to find a person within minutes. The only new technology is ability to preform real time facial recognition.  As a result, Soul search is more of a new technology in the sense that it is a combination of existing technologies, coupled with crowd sourcing, which can locate people in a way which has never really existed anymore. This program would drastically reduce both crime and the time it takes to track down criminals. It would reduce crime by acting as deterrent due to the implication that any criminal can be found at any time.

When Soul Search is introduced, it is first demonstrated to the audience by hunting down a murderer,  Fiona Highbridge,  in under 10 minutes. After the woman was found, civilians rushed as a pack of wild animals to surround her. The woman was then arrested by authorities nearby that were also watching.

In this case soul search was shown to work properly allowing the police to arrest the fugitive unharmed.

Unfortunately, not all cases ended on a good note. For the second demonstration of Soul Search, Mae wants to show the audience how it can be used to find lost loved ones or old friends. Mae then proceeds to ask the audience for recommendations of who they should find. The audience begins to chant “Mercer”, whom Mae does not wish to find. Reluctantly, she begins the search, clearly informing the audience that Mercer is a friend not a fugitive and should not be harmed.

Again, Civilians rushed to find him. They find him inside his home. As he refuses to leave his home, soul searcher continue to arrive and pound on his doors and windows. He flees the house and gets in his truck. The soul searchers follow close behind while he makes a daring escape down the mountain road. As Mercer begins crossing a bridge off the mountain, a drone appears in front of him. Mercer quickly swerves to avoid a collusion and crashes through the guardrail to his death.

In this case soul search, was not shown to have properly and represents the problem with this form of integration in it’s infancy. Soul Search was being used for the first time and therefore, was a relatively unknown process. This resulted in an overzealous crowd, who would relentlessly hunt the person requested, in combination with an unsuspecting innocent person. As a result the crowd took things too far and Mercer stopped acting rationally, but instead as though his life was act risk. If soul search could become common practice, then the zealotry of onlookers would diminish with it’s novelty, in conjunction with the event of people being searched for becoming common place. Both of these changes occurring, would reduce the risk to the public and the person being searched for.




Preface to this section:

The movie Circle showed that privacy is only a concern when there is an inequality of privacy. Meaning if everyone lacks privacy then it no longer becomes a concern or a right of the individual and that through complete openness we can rid the world of damaging secrets and unethical plans. Therefore, this section will highlight how each instance of a privacy violation within the movie is resolved through a greater sense of transparency and a more open world.

The introduction of the See-change cameras

Placing a network of hidden cameras around the planet to continuously monitor everyone and everything represents a gross invasion of privacy for the individual. These cameras in public property do not infringe upon the individual, however, it is their stealth and placement in a vast quantity of locations means the Circle has the ability to monitor all citizens.  This means that citizens can utilize the data and images to improve their own life, such as checking traffic or weather in real time. If every citizen is monitored then all of their actions become public. In the movie, Mae makes the argument that people behave in better manner when watched. Therefore, it goes to reason that if everyone is watched then humanity will behave better.

Spying on Mae’s activities, making her to register a company social account,and put in all her personal information.

When Mae begins working at the Circle, she is heavily encouraged to create a company social media account. When encouraging her to create an account they utilize confidential information, such as her father’s MS, to convince her. This is violation of her privacy in the beginning as it reveals private medical information about her family, however, this information is used to promote medical treatment fro the father. Additionally, Mae is reluctant to use social media at first, however, after a while she embraces it, by becoming the first person to broadcast their entire life.

Congresswoman Santos plans on disclosing everything including emails and phone calls which can potentially violate other people’s privacy.

If/When Congresswoman Santos releases all of this information, some of it will be confidential to her and therefore her right to release. However, for her to release all of her communication, inevitably means that other individuals information will be released to the public. In doing this congresswoman Santos treats her coworkers as a means to the end of getting elected, while simultaneously disregarding their right to privacy. However, as elected agents of the people, they have to answer to actions in a public forum. If their private accounts contain damaging information, which the public would not approve of, then they should face the consequences, rather than hide their information. If they released their information voluntarily, then congresswoman Santos would not violate their privacy and subsequently the citizens would have more reliable politicians.

Mae posts an image of a chandelier Mercer created

When Mae takes a picture of Mercer’s Chandelier, she violates his privacy and his to protect and distribute his work. However, she does not do this out bad/selfish intentions, instead she does because she wants to boast of the quality of Mercer’s work, essentially praising him. After posting the image, Mercer confronts her, quickly stating how he hadn’t ever really been online and now he was receiving death threats. It’s this quick change that disrupts Mercer’s life rather than the actual image being posted. If Mercer was active online prior to the image being posted, he would tried to utilize the free publicity for his work, and he would have been used to the notion of death threats. In reference to the frequency of hate messages, in 2015 the premier soccer League received 16.8K discriminatory messages every month [1]. If Mercer was active online, the notion of death threats would not have been a primary concern for him as they would be trivial in quantity. His reaction is due to this being his first experience with social media, rather than the media itself.

Child Track: A system for tracking and monitoring the safety of children

This is a proposed system for tracking children by placing implants in their bone. The propose of this system is to prevent/limit child abduction. While this can be seen as violation of the child’s right to consent to non medically necessary procedures, it can also be seen as a virtuous action of the parents. Ideally, all parents want to protect their children from danger and that in and of itself is a noble cause. However, protecting children from the threat of child abduction is very difficult. In a standard child abduction the police consider the first 3 hours to be crucial to save the child’s life. However, under 20% of Amber Alerts find the child in under 3 hours [2]. This means our current system for tracking children is not effective enough. Therefore, it can be seen as a protective decision to have a tracking implant in your children, allowing them to always be found.

Mae viewing the parents having sex while she is transparent 

In the movie Mae starts each day by contacting her parents, she does this with the SeeChange cameras to essentially Skype with them. However, at one point she can’t find her parents and begins flipping through various camera feeds in the house. Eventually, she finds them having sex and proceeds to transmit that through her own cameras globally. In the first portion of the movie, the Mae’s parent consent to having SeeChange cameras placed through out their home. They also agree to having medical testing done, to help with the father’s MS. The SeeChange cameras have the capability to be seen by anyone within the Circle and therefore already broadcast globally. Additionally, Mae does the same, via her transparency, however, she has a noticeable audience. Secondly, the SeeChange cameras can be turned off whenever the parents desired. Therefore, in this scenario, if the parents wanted privacy they should have turned off their cameras. In the absence of turning off the cameras they began broadcasting their actions to the world. When Mae views the cameras and rebroadcasts the images displayed, she is not changing or altering their consent.

Release of Private documents

Senator Williamson:

Early in the movie, Senator Williamson is shown the television as starting an investigation into the Circle and their violations of antitrust laws. Later in the movie it is revealed that her private accounts have been leaked, and now she is under investigation. The movie eludes to this being a purposeful release of information, which was orchestrated by Tom Stetton the COO of the Circle. When Tom releases her private documents he violates her privacy, and in the process destroys her career. In this way Tom disregards the Senator all together, so that he can increase his own power.

Eamon Bailey and Tom Stetton:

At the end of the movie, Mae releases all information and accounts held by the company leaders for the public to see. While the contents of the accounts are never discussed the implication is that they are severely damaging. When she releases the documents, she treats the company owners as a path to her ultimate goals, rather than as their own people. While it could be argued that what she did was for the greater good, ridding the company of corruption, she violated the rights of Eamon Bailey and Tom Stetton in the process.

In both of these cases it is the release of damaging information that is a concern to the individuals. However, if they were already transparent or operated in an ethical manner then the release should not have been a concern. Secondly, both sets of people are in positions where they should be held accountable by the public. The Senator being a politician, is an elected official, while Eamon and Tom are asking the public to give up their data freely while they refuse. In both cases openness prior to the release would have been prevented both circumstances from being of concern.


[2]Bateson, M., Nettle, D., & Roberts, G. (2006). Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting. Biology letters, 2(3), 412-414.