Erasing David

Uncover The News

Lovely review from Kristen Coughlan on the Uncover The News blog…

Review: ERASING DAVID

By Kristen Coughlan

Erasing David is a British documentary on big brother and privacy concerns.  The basis of this documentary is filmmaker David Bond proposes a challenge to Cerberus, a private investigator company. He challenges two of their investigators to find him in thirty days. All they had to go on is David’s name. At the same time, David has to try to do things that will keep the investigators off his trial and escape big brother.

Throughout the film, David is doing research before and during his experiment into past and present, ways of surveillance. David contacts companies he had dealings with like an online book store and his cell phone company to see what data they have on him. He had a privacy expert follow him throughout the course of a day to show what will end up in a database.

During this experiment, he meets some men in Germany that had encounters with the stasi and they told him how the stasi worked.  He also meets with a woman that was trying to get a job and during a background check and she was prevented from getting the job because someone with the same name as her had a criminal record.

While David was traveling to meet with these people, the investigators from Cerberus were on his trial. They looked through his garbage, social networking page, and watching his cell phone usage. They used the website http://whereisdavid.co.uk/ to show their process and as a way to try to track David. They even followed and gathered information on David’s family.

At one point in the documentary, David was having concerns in signing up his daughter in daycare. He went to a school where they used fingerprints to buy their lunches and even for computer use to log in to their lessons.  He felt concerned what the data obtained might be used for in the future.

How David was tracked down was a simple trick.  After the experiment, David was invited to the investigator’s office and he was stunned at what he saw. On the wall was every piece of information that the investigators have dug up on him.

The movie ends when his wife has given birth to a son. The baby’s information is being put in a database for his birth certificate.

This is a must see documentary.  It really opens your eyes on how you can be tracked and traced. It also shows that it is old methods such has looking through trash and getting information from others still works in the present.

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