Snowden director Oliver Stone calls Pokemon Go new level of 'surveillance capitalism'

Filmmaker Oliver Stone tore into the Pokemon Go smartphone phenomenon on Thursday, describing it as "a new level of invasion" that could lead to totalitarianism.

During a panel for his new movie Snowden on the first day of San Diego Comic-Con 2016, the director said the app was part of a larger culture of "surveillance capitalism."

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"It's the fastest-growing business ever, and they have invested huge amounts of money into what surveillance is, which is data-mining," Stone told the audience at his first-ever appearance at the four-day sci-fi and fantasy spectacle.

Directer Oliver Stone says Pokemon Go is a new "invasion" on privacy. Photo / Supplied
Directer Oliver Stone says Pokemon Go is a new "invasion" on privacy. Photo / Supplied

"They're data-mining every person in this room for information as to what you're buying, what it is you like, and above all, your behaviour."

The location-based augmented reality game became an overnight sensation on its release earlier this month, although it has been criticised for requesting users' Google browsing history and email.

It has also been blamed for a wave of crimes, traffic violations and other complaints in cities around the world.

Is Pokemon Go safe? Photo / Michael Craig.
Is Pokemon Go safe? Photo / Michael Craig.

Three-time Oscar winner Stone, 69, said Pokemon Go "kicks into" the surveillance culture and was "everywhere."

"It's what some people call surveillance capitalism. It's the newest stage," he said. "You'll see a new form of, frankly, a robot society, where they will know how you want to behave and they will make the mock-up that matches how you behave and feed you. It's what they call totalitarianism."

Snowden, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked US government surveillance secrets in 2013 before seeking asylum in Russia, opens in New Zealand cinemas on December 29.

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