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Erasing David (2010)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 368 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 12 critic

Director David Bond finds out how much private companies and government know about him by attempting to disappear. Tracked by two ruthless private investigators, his chilling journey forces him to contemplate the loss of privacy.

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Credited cast:
Frank M. Ahearn ...
Himself
David Bond ...
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Cameron Gowlett ...
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Duncan Mee ...
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Storyline

David Bond lives in one of the most intrusive surveillance states in the world. He decides to find out how much private companies and the government know about him by putting himself under surveillance and attempting to disappear - a decision that changes his life forever. Leaving his pregnant wife and young child behind, he is tracked across the database state by two ruthless private investigators, on a chilling journey that forces him to contemplate the meaning of privacy - and the loss of it. Written by Anonymous

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He has nothing to hide but does he have nothing to fear?

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Documentary

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26 September 2010 (Canada)  »

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True Stories: Erasing David  »

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Careful, Big Brother might be watching you read this review:
11 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There's no denying that our lives are more exposed now more than ever before. With surveillance cameras on almost every block in the city, security cameras in every store, ATM cameras, traffic cameras, people with camera cell phones, it's amazing that we don't know where every single person is at any given moment. Add to that the GPS systems, cell tracking devices, credit card purchases and social media sites such as Myspace, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter and the whole world can see where you are and what you're doing at all times. It's like a 24/7 peep show, my friends.

David Bond decided that he was going to try and live off-the-grid. Not an easy task. He lives in the UK and the UK is the 3rd most watched country in terms of surveillance (behind China and Russia). He hires two professional private investigators (Gowlett and Mee) to track him down and find him -- all they are given is his name, the rest is up to them. A camera crew follows the detectives while David has his own handy Steadicam to document his actions.

Before David starts kicking rocks, he takes us all the way up to three months before the initial hiring of the detectives. The documentary is edited so that it plays some scenes from months ago to what's happening right now, so pay attention to the words superimposed on the screen or you'll lose yourself. It gives us a peek behind-the-scenes at how certain companies use our data that we provide to them. David also interviews several people on the topic of privacy and what we can do to try and protect ours. He finds out... not much, actually. It's mind-boggling just how much data Amazon.co.uk keeps on it's customers, a "doorstop of information" David calls it.

You'll probably already know a lot of the things about privacy that are pointed out in this documentary, but it's still very well worth watching. In one of the months prior to this little experiment, he even interviews people about identity theft and the problems that they've encountered because someone has the same name as them. And a lot of these so-called errors could be blamed on the government itself, but even when it's their problem, ultimately, it's still your problem. David surprised me when, on the run, he would check into certain websites that the detectives set up for him to log into -- they told him it's a site that shows where they think he is, yeah right. Come on David, use your head. He even goes completely backwoods by trying to hide out in a remote hooded hut, but abandons the notion after only a few days stating that he's supposed to be trying to live a normal life, not one of a recluse or hermit. Another thing I found humorous about the documentary is the state of paranoia that David shows, constantly looking over his shoulder and absolutely certain that everyone is following him and watching his every move.

I won't tell you if David succeeds on his mission or not, you're going to have to watch it on your own. You'll be shocked at times and might even want to make a few changes about how you handle certain things from now on. It's a very compelling documentary that is also very funny in certain places, I especially liked the bit where David refuses to sign some nursery papers for his daughter because they want to share her data with other government agencies. "What if sand-eating becomes illegal?" More reviews at www.soveryterry.com Final Grade: B


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