Terms Conditions Apply Orson Scott

Runtime: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Director: Cullen Hoback
Starring: Max Schrems,Moby,Mark Zuckerberg
IMDB: 7.4
Genres: Documentary
Studio: Phase 4 Films (USA), LLC
MPAA rating: NR (Not Rated)
Buy from Amazon


Do you read the Terms and Conditions connected to every website you visit or app you use? This film reveals what corporations/governments are legally taking from you and the consequences of clicking "I accept."

One of the best Documentaries I’ve ever watched

No wonder Netflix was promoting this documentary so hard. My girlfriendwatched it first and quickly recommended it to me. It truly is one ofthe best documentaries I’ve ever watched, and in my Top 5!

I’ll be re-watching it again next week, so hopefully I can add a bitmore to the review once I re-watch it.

Firstly – The graphics, animations and typography used were wonderful,it really complimented the well thought out and structured film.

It gave an easy to view look at how the world is changing, and howthese big companies/government agencies are a real threat to ourprivacy. The ONE thing missing from this Documentary, was how we (thepeople) can fight back against this kind of privacy violations, butthen again.. can we fight back at all?

New Age STALKERS….Is PRIVACY dead ??? …….Absolutely !

This is a brilliantly researched excellent feature !

Your privacy has been compromised to the very core the moment youcreated an account with any of the following…facebook, google, gmail,twitter, iphone etc…

What does one feel about hacking ?

What does one feel about being spied on ?

Would you say the same things when whatever you say is being recorded ?

Whoever you talk to, including your private and personal conversationsover the phone are being recorded and heard by another unknown humanbeing who can use every word you say to condemn you anytime !

Well boys n girls… welcome to the world of cookies and the internet !

Choose ur words carefully…its not free after-ALL !!!


I simply love this film!I saw it last night at the Aruba InternationalFilm Festival. I’m Leo’s friend (short guy) that told you to go to"Jimmies Bar" ha-ha. But holy crap! This movie was really interesting!I find you have balls for actually visiting the Facebook creator, MarkZuckerberg at his own house. There’s nobody crazy enough that would dothat type of thing. It’s still scary to know that the government takesour private information as it were nothing. I mean we all have ourrights, right? So why not stand up!? We should all stand up forourselves. Keep up the good work, bro(& crew).


-Amin Croes

Important and frightening

This is an important and frightening film, about how Google, Amzaon,Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkdin – and IMDb? – harvest ourpersonal information and onsell it to the highest bidder, or to thegovernment. How we don’t read that wodge of text in capitals comprising"Terms and conditions" before we click "Accept" – nobody could, itwould take a month per year for everything we sign. But even when thattext is brief and written in plain English, it gives those corporationsunprecedented power over our personal information – including the rightto change the rules without telling us, to increase their power withoutlimit and without asking again, and to keep it forever, even after wehave "deleted" it.

The film is entertaining, including how a seven year old boy wasinterrogated about something he had texted; how an Irishman on holidayin the US never got into the country but spent days in confinementinstead, because he had used "destroy America" as a figure of speech ina tweet; how people planning a zombie parade during the Royal Weddingwere arrested based on the social media planning; and how a TV crimewriter was raided based on his Google searches.

I saw this a few days after "We Steal Secrets: the story of Wikileaks".It is the better film, letting the facts speak for themselves more.

And now I’m getting paranoid about what will happen to me for writingthis….

Clear your schedule or check a box and proceed – your choice

With the rise of the internet, and technology in general, it’s nosurprise in the influx of documentaries concerning internet freedomsand the legalities of businesses that operate or function heavilyonline. Intersecting themes with these documentaries are usuallypersonal freedoms, human rights, and a mindset heavily emphasizingindividualism and personal accountability. With the recent NSA leak andthe upcoming film The Fifth Estate, focusing on WikiLeaks and theJulian Assange controversy, don’t expect this topic to go away any timesoon.

Terms and Conditions May Apply focuses on that lengthy, disgustinglylong wall of text you’re greeted with every time you register for awebsite, be it Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, EBay, etc. Consider iTunes, aservice I have not used in about four years but one I have fondmemories of. The service would update its terms and conditions roughlyevery five months and you’d be met with immediately when you’d try andbuy a song or a piece of media after the new terms and conditions wereenacted. All you had to do was check a box saying "I agree" and youcould proceed with buying the song. My question: who took the time toread that gargantuan wall of text? Most of it, from what I assumedbecause hey, I never read it, was legal jargon and stating how Iconsent to not downloading or illegally distributing this propertywithout written/expressed consent from whatever party in an absurdlyverbose fashion. I didn’t care and I don’t think a lot of people did.

But if you were to quiz me on what I was agreeing to, I wouldn’t have aclue. How ignorant is that? I couldn’t tell you any website’s privacypolicy and I’m a member of over ten mainstream sites. Director CullenHoback elaborates on just what we’re agreeing to and how it can be usedagainst us.

Consider Gamestation, a website that, for one day, stated in its termsand conditions that by agreeing to this wall of text you’d be handingover your immortal soul to the site. In one day, the site collectedthousands of souls. It’s an obvious joke, but what if something washidden in the terms and conditions, surrounded and barricaded by a wallof unrefined, wordy, confusing text that would have a serious impact ifit was put into effect? It’s a frightening thought, but it’s usually adeeply subconscious thought that becomes even more hidden when you’replaying that song on iTunes or updating your profile on Facebook.

The film explores privacy policies and what the government and specificcompanies can see on the internet. Essentially, they can seeeverything. The opening line of the film is a haunting one stating,"anything that has been digitized is not private and that’s the scarything." Interviews are conducted with sociologists, journalists – oneof whom Barrett Brown, who has appeared in numerous internetdocumentaries and is now imprisoned – and many others who state thatthe internet has become an invaluable resource while simultaneously anintricate tool that can just as easily be used against people.

Statistics noting that companies have lost $250 billion due to fineprint lawsuits and it would take you around one-hundred and eightyhours to read the privacy policies of every site you’re a member of.The latter statistic reminds me of a bill that is halted in the U.S.Congress at this time called the "Read the Bills Act," which, if signedinto law, would make it a requirement for Congress to, well, read thebills before they pass them. Ignore the disgusting fact that we need abill passed for Congress to do their primary job, but what could be thereason that a bill like this needs to exist? One of my guesses is thatmaybe the bills are bulky and overly-long, leading to much dismay andtedium when reading and analyzing them. Perhaps this is a call forshorter legislation and terms and conditions; ones that are more simpleand to-the-point rather than being daunting legal contracts thatintimidate rather than inform.

Terms and Conditions May Apply is a good film, albeit far too short.Hoback makes a great case for internet activism and an internet thatremains open and constructed by the people rather than by corporationsand big government, and things even take a surprisingly personal turnat the end when Hoback attempts to get a word in with Mark Zuckerberg,the founder of the website Facebook. The biggest achievement of thedocumentary, however, is that it’s seventy-nine minutes long butdoesn’t deserve the "pamphlet" term I assign to documentaries that takea micro-look at a macro-subject. This is more of a very organized,moderately elaborate Cliff Notes version of a subject.

Directed by: Cullen Hoback.

Excellent review of social and political problems regarding digital privacy

Excellent review of the political and social changes in *digital*privacy for the past 13 years since 9/11. The director goes into greatdetail on how Websites have constantly shifted toward acquiring anddisseminating more information as time has gone on since 9/11 and howthis information can, and is, being revealed to the government on aregular basis. What is more disturbing is how much we thought thateither a password or a privacy change on Facebook to "Friends Only"doesn’t actually protect us, totally, from government or corporatedissemination of who we are.

The director also points out the substantial moral problem of when weare allowed to forget our secrets and to let them lie in our past. 5years? 10 years? 3 months? When are we entitled to have thoseembarrassing pictures taken at age 14 taken off the Internet searchengine results (from, say, Google)? When it’s been 10 years? What aboutadults? Do they deserve to have privacy of past-acts (good conduct ormisconduct)? This is a matter not currently under substantialdiscussion in the Congress and the director points out that Congress isthe only legislature in the US that can adequately make laws on thesesubjects.

Again, worth seeing once so that you learn what exactly those "terms"are that you agreed to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.