Getting our name, interests, photographs of us, our friends, our family, and sometimes even our contact information, is as easy as offering a lollipop to a child.
Even if you're already well aware of how much your online information could be being tracked, I bet you've never seen it put into this context before. Click Take This Lollipop, select 'allow' and prepare yourself to be creeped out. In short, you're about to see something very familiar.
If you would prefer not to click 'allow' until you know what you're getting yourself into, watch my version here:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/embed/0DYFPupvo1Q?hl=en&fs=1 expand=1]
As several bloggers who have picked up the story point out, even though this may be an exaggeration of what is being done with information about you on the Internet, it makes a point by making you think twice next time you click the "allow" button.
The Next Web's Matt Brian writes:
Take This Lollipop plays on the fact that many people underestimate the power of social networks and the information that can be obtained from them, connecting to your Facebook account to play through a scene where a creepy man spying and tracking you.
It’s like a scene from one of the many horror films that have hit movie theaters in the past few years, showing a man in a somewhat abandoned house (complete with a tricycle in the corner of a room), obtaining information from your Facebook profile. Your photos, location and friends are all displayed, making you aware of what you willingly share on your Facebook account.
The New York Times BITS blog reports that Jason Zada took credit for the video with his tweet. Zada is also responsible for interactive campaigns like 'Elf Yourself.'
Bill Oberst who stars as the "creepy guy" in the film told The Blaze that although he's unsure of what the actual purpose of the film is, aside from its intent to go viral, that it did the job creeping even himself out.
"When I saw me going through my own personal Facebook information, that was weird," Oberst said. When asked how he felt about what he saw and the message portrayed, he said concerned. "Absolute concern. You realize that your location information -- any information -- is easy to put together from what you have online. So much much about us is on the web."
And Oberst, who is used to being cast as the scary guy, is not the only one who is freaked out. The Facebook Connect app has been exploding since it launched and Twitter is capturing many comments on it.
Oberst said the scene was filmed in an abandoned hospital and that his wife-beater tank top is a calling card for creeps. He notes that one of his reactions is how different it would feel for a man versus a woman watching the movie.
"There are some dark, sexual undertones," Oberst said. "I definitely think a man using the app will have a different reaction than a woman."
The Blaze contacted Zada but he had not responded by the time of this posting.