Watson's latest film endeavour certainly acts as a cautionary tale. In the film, Watson plays Mae, a new employee at a Google-esque company called The Circle. While Mae's new gig initially seems like a dream job, it's not long before The Circle starts asking more and more of her — specifically, when it comes to sharing her personal life with company's larger social network.
Based on the Dave Eggers book of the same name, The Circle poses questions of privacy versus knowledge — should we be more open with the world in order to expand collective information, or should we pull back and keep some things to ourselves, even if it means shutting out the rest of the world? That's the question that Mae grapples with in Eggers' work, and one that the former Harry Potter actress was asked at the Tribeca Film Festival. Are the advancements in technology good or bad for humanity?
"I guess the big thing for me having been involved in this is just taking back the idea that this information that belongs to us, or belongs to me and just being mindful and much more aware of what’s unveiling before our very eyes, oftentimes without us even realising."
She's right: There's a reason why your computer knows the exact shoes you were looking at while perusing DSW.com, and why the internet seems oddly intuitive to your specific searches. It's not that sharing information online is bad necessarily (it is helpful to be reminded when those cute sandals go on sale) but it is a reminder that there's really no such thing as privacy on the internet.
"If someone takes a photograph of me and posts it, within two seconds they've created a marker of exactly where I am within 10 meters," Watson told Vanity Fair. "They can see what I’m wearing and who I’m with. I just can’t give that tracking data."
It sounds like Watson knows exactly how to protect herself — and there's no doubt that being a part of The Circle helped validate her reasons why.