Are we being tracked by MoviePass?

Since the modern age of breakthroughs in science and technology, some people have been rather suspicious of the government’s intention for quite some time now. This is evidently elucidated in the phrase “Big Brother”, who is supposedly watching and spying on our every move. “Big Brother” also commonly refers to the seemingly authoritarian regime as some believe that the government is more involved in our lives than it seems with the help of surveillance ubiquitously. Nonetheless, recent news reveals the actual antagonist in this dynamic that, much to everyone’s surprise, is a movie app. This revelation was disclosed by Mitch Lowe, the CEO of MoviePass, a week earlier. He allegedly spilled the beans about the way the app could track the client’s whereabouts, before and after a movie.

During an Entertainment Finance Forum, Lowe played a part as a keynote speaker, who, interestingly enough, named the title of the speech as, “Data is the New Oil: How will MoviePass Monetize it?”. From the self-explanatory title, it is no wonder that he subsequently took pride in the substantial amount of data and information on clients’ locations even after they have left the theatre. From Lowe’s responses, it seems that the reason for such actions lies in the profit motive, attributable to capitalism, the great motivator.

In another interview that took place over six months ago, Lowe explained his main intentions in retaining this information. He mentioned the possibility of transforming a movie night into a long line of business transactions. In short, with the information on places that the clients’ frequently visit, MoviePass could attempt to promote package deals involving those places in the sale of movie tickets since they now have the statistical evidence of potential patrons.

“The second thing we’re going to do with data… is we think going to the movies is a centerpiece for a lot of other transactions. You know, going to dinner, getting drinks, taking Uber, and we’re going to be working with local merchants around the theaters, and around the malls to drive more people to those businesses. And take a share to drive transactions,” Lowe coherently articulated in the same interview.

In the more recent interview, Lowe apparently suggests a call on commission from other businesses that are profiting from his actions, such as the dining establishments that are recommended by MoviePass. Though attempts to acquire more specifics have been made, no additional comments have been made. All we know now is that MoviePass has the intention to infiltrate the clients’ privacy in order to expand their profit margins.

Should clients be more informed about such a breach in security? Through a thorough reading of the privacy policy of MoviePass, it seems that they only ask for permission to access location once in the selection of a movie theatre. The app proceeds to explain that the need for these data is to further enhance and upgrade the service provided.

Once again, the consumers have become yet another pawn in the capitalist system. As we approach late capitalism, the measures taken by large corporations in order to maximize their profits have gotten more extreme. An unintentional error initiated by the firm could ultimately lead to the disclosure of our confidential information, without a say on our part. This is no longer a simple strategy deployed by a profit-making company, or Lowe for that matter. This is a potentially life-threatening situation that consumers should be cautious of. In this late capitalism era that the United States have come so far to achieve, no longer are things as simple as they seem. Consumers need to learn to filter the information that is presented to them as well as being more astute in performing daily tasks.

Featured Image via MoviePass

Tesla Searching for “Gigafactory” Location

Tesla Motors Inc. has recently expanded its factory location search from two sites to three. Tesla, known as the luxury electric car brand, has been scouting across the U.S. for a site they can build a battery plant on. Tesla hopes to be able to cut the cost of its vehicles if they are able to build the car’s lithium-ion batteries in America. It is being dubbed the “Gigafactory,” but an official announcement of the site Tesla will select is not expected to come before the end of the year.

Chief Executive Elon Musk announced at a press conference “We’re probably going to do two or maybe three states all the way to creating a foundation and completing the plans and getting approval.” The goal is to begin plans in a couple of location simultaneously so that construction will not be delayed when Tesla is ready to break ground. The two or maybe three sites will be selected from  Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California, and the final site will be selected from the two or three. Some analysts have speculated that Tesla needs to pick a location immediately if it expects to open the factory in 2017 on time.

While confirming he would remain CEO for at least another four or five years, Musk elaborated on Tesla’s plans explaining that the Gigafactory will be geared towards producing batteries for the Generation 3 Tesla. This Tesla will have a starting price of $35,000, about half of what a Tesla currently sells for. The car is expected to be released in late 2016. Musk and Tesla’s supplier partner Panasonic Corp are both confident that by building a battery factory in the U.S., they will be able to drive the cost of production down by at least 30%. Musk plans to then turn around and be able to offer greater discounts to Tesla’s customers.

While working on opening the new factory, Musk said Tesla will also focus on building an electric truck as well as self driving vehicles. The company is also striving to make cars that will cost less than $35,000 and they have also began a partnership with Foxconn, a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company. Though no official statements have been made by Tesla, Musk has said that a relationship with Foxconn will help increase the rate at which it is capable of expanding.



Photo: Tesla