A Chilling Documentary About a Woman’s Life Told From the Voyeuristic Perspective of a Smartphone

Harvest” is a brilliantly chilling documentary short about the daily life of a woman named Jenni as seen through the voyeuristic perspective of her smartphone. Director Kevin Byrnes purposely gave the film a particularly ominous mood in making it appear as if the phone were a stalker lying in wait and watching every move with Jenni as its prey. In reality it’s the fine print of third party app location services that would actually allow her to be stalked in such a way.

During one week of filming in March 2016, Jenni’s phone transmitted her GPS coordinates 3,545 times to third party apps based on the fine print authorizations provided as part of her installation of common applications.

The monitoring of Jenni’s phone was provided by the ReCon researchers at Northeastern University, who study and provide information to individuals who want to know how their personal information is being transmitted to other parties.

ReCon analyzes your network traffic to tell if personal information is being transmitted, and it doesn’t even need to know what is your personal information to work. It detects device/user identifiers used in tracking, geolocation leaks, unsafe password transmissions, and personal information such as name, address, gender, and relationship status. We make this information available to you via a private Web page, and allow you to tell us if we found important leaks, and whether we should block or modify them.

via The Atlantic