This is my son watching the “Smurfs” movie. He is nestled between two chairs performing Olympic feats while also watching the movie. It’s a typical cold and rainy Sunday afternoon activity for him.

That said, I was lucky enough to snap this photo and realize the dark and forbidding look of Gargamel, the evil character in the background. Gargamel is always chasing the little blue, innocent Smurf characters and I realized something. Gargamel is a phenomenal personification of a data hoarding company or government. Why?

My son watching the “Smurfs”




Because Gargamel wants to know where the Smurfs are, where they live, how to get there, what the Smurf’s are doing, what their plans are, where they want to go, and he’ll stop at nothing to get that information!

Maybe I should read my son the hardcover “Smurfs” book instead of letting him watch it where Amazon, Netflix, and Fios all can sell his whereabouts to Gargamel.

Do you ever wonder about the data being collected on your children as they watch these shows? Let us know.

About the Author: Christian Ward

Christian Ward has been building data companies and partnerships since he launched his first financial data company 20 years ago. He has developed and executed hundreds of data partnerships around the world, from the small entrepreneurial firm to the world’s largest data companies. His focus is on the evolving use of data, privacy, and the opportunities created by the right data partnership strategy. Christian has held executive roles at Yext, Thomson Reuters, Infogroup, and the Bank of New York. He resides with his wife and three children at the Jersey Shore.