Black Mirror: Bandersnatch sinister
Netflix ploy to steal THOUGHTS and manipulate politics
The hit Netflix feature could be even creepier than we
thought...NETFLIX REFUSES to say if NETFLIX or third-parties
psychologically analyze your behavior on NETFLIX!!!!
By Sean Keach, Digital Technology and Science
Fiona Wade has revealed she is engaged to former
co-star Simon Cotton
By Sean Keach, Digital Technology and
is one of the most talked-about Netflix episodes ever – and it
could be the beginning of a sinister conspiracy to harvest your
The Black Mirror episode lets viewers choose their own path
through the story using on-screen options, but experts warn that
it marks a dangerous future of surveillance.
Charlie Brooker's latest dystopian TV wheeze is a Choose Your Own
Adventure story played using a remote control.
But experts are now warning that this gives Netflix a wealth of data on
the personal choices you make.
Netflix hasn't revealed exactly what it'll do with this data, but the
company does offer up data to marketers and advertisers – and government
organisations, when asked.
"Netflix is bound by privacy laws especially when dealing with European
subjects," Adam Brown, a cybersecurity expert at Synopsys, told The Sun.
"Those same laws do have exceptions, for example law enforcement agencies
can of course legally access the data."
For instance, imagine if you were charged with committing a violent
The police could request Netflix data showing what decisions you made
when watching TV shows.
For instance, Bandersnatch gives you the option to kill certain
characters in very brutal, gory ways.
Data suggesting you chose violent actions during a viewing session could
potentially count against you.
"Choices could reveal aspects of a viewer’s psyche to law enforcement
agencies," Brown explained.
But he added that your personality could be revealed by regular TV
choices too – outside of Choose Your Own Adventure stories.
When combined with other data, this could mean bad things for your
privacy, as one expert explains.
"Your smart TV, games console and AI assistant might know what you're
watching, hear all the comments you're making, and even know which part of
the screen you were looking at when you said that or made that
expression," said Dr Ian Pearson, a professional futurist, speaking to The
"Your fitness band meanwhile is measuring your excitement level via your
"So the data will go much deeper and more personal than just choosing a
What is Bandersnatch?
Here's what you need to know...
Bandersnatch is an interactive film / TV episode released by
Netflix on December 28, 2018
It's part of the Black Mirror TV series created by Brit writer
Charlie Brooker, which features standalone episodes that portray
Bandersnatch follows a young programmer named Stefan who is
adapting a Choose Your Own Adventure book into a video game in 1984
During the episode, viewers get a chance to direct the plot by
selecting options that appear on screen
This results in viewers seeing different storylines and endings,
depending on the choices they make
The average viewing is 90 minutes, although it's possible to watch
the episode at a length of between 40 minutes and 2.5 hours
There are five "main" endings, although endings have small
The episode received largely positive reviews, although some
criticised the storyline
This data could then be accessed by governments or big-money advertisers.
Dr Pearson explained: "While much of the date gathered about you is low
value, just form filling and clicking, that might not give true
indications about you, your intimate behaviours and choices when watching
a programme alone could reveal much more accurate and detailed data about
"All of that could be available to any company willing to pay or any
government official with the right to access it."
Not everyone is convinced that Bandersnatch can provide such detailed
Michael Pachter, a media expert at Wedbush Securities, told The Sun:
"It's not clear that Bandersnatch was effective in driving much consumer
interest beyond the novelty of the experience.
He called the episode an "abject failure" and said: "I don’t think that
Netflix has the skills set (yet) to make a compelling interactive
"They need video game developers to make the “game” if they want it to be
fun, and they’re letting movie makers dabble with a medium that they
aren’t particularly good at."
Pachter thinks that Netflix will create more Bandersnatch-style shows and
will "endeavour to derive information", but said it "won't be effective or
"Keep in mind that they know very little about users beyond what they
watch," said Pachter.
"They don’t know age, gender, purchase habits, household income, or
pretty much anything else about their customer. They may know that I like
Stranger Things, but so do 13 year-old girls.
"Marketing feminine hygiene products to me based upon my choices in
Bandersnatch would not be a particularly effective strategy."
A Netflix spokesperson told The Sun: "The privacy of Netflix members is a
priority for us.
"Documenting choices improves the experience and interactive
functionality of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
"All interactions with the film and uses of that information are in
compliance with our privacy statement."
"Netflix does not sell or rent personal information to third parties for
their marketing purposes or any other use."