It Does Meta 

 

Joanne Lim & Kathi Schulz 

2022

 

 "It Does Meta" is a 85-min long performance that discusses different approaches of countries to digitalization, specifically surveillance and privacy protection. As we advance towards a highly technological networked age, the privacy notice found in all websites and online services, conveys all pertinent information, including the risks and benefits to the participant, so that they can make an informed choice about whether to participate or not. However, the notice and consent requirements of these privacy policies are often long, complex, and difficult to understand. Large tech companies like Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) and Alphabet Inc. (Google) are generating a market for themselves, that lacks competition; resulting in a monopoly of their services, and creating an illusion of choice for the consumer. 

 

By reading Meta’s entire privacy policy, Lim’s and Schulz’s piece discusses the disparities in data protection laws in different countries and critiques how tech firms like meta bypass these laws. Reading simultaneously, each in their native language, turns the policy into an entangled, incomprehensible, monotone noise, referencing techniques that companies implement to obliterate, tricking users into consent, and violating privacy regulations. Singapore and Germany support opposing views on digitality and its sociopolitical and legal ramifications. The Singaporean government's early embrace of digital technologies, being one of the first countries in Asia to roll out broadband Internet infrastructure, implements a language around technology that normalizes surveillance. Germany, on the other hand, enforces strict privacy protection laws, which conflict with technological progress. 

 

Even though Singapore and Germany employ contradictory approaches regarding privacy data protection, tech companies like Meta implement the same data protection policies in both countries. Meta continues to violate personal data protection in countries with stricter data protection laws, like Germany. The social media network fails to change its practices to comply with European privacy laws. Lim’s and Schulz's work emphasizes the absurdity of countries with opposite approaches towards technology, different government forms, and law systems sharing the same data protection policies once interacting with their platform, creating a globally implemented panopticon.