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‘Information should be free” was one of the mantras of the IT revolution, promising a new era of civic openness. But though the economy of “Big Tech” is largely based on its ability to harvest and monetize your personal information, corporations display no openness in return: Google forces strict nondisclosure agreements on its business partners, YouTube and Spotify dodge transparency in how they compensate artists, and Apple … well, that brings us to filmmaker Heather White.

To document labor conditions in the heavily guarded Chinese factories where iPhones and other Apple products are assembled, White has had to recruit undercover reporters and use hidden cameras. An NYC-based activist and director fluent in Mandarin, White is currently working on a crowd-funded documentary called “Who Pays the Price? The Human Cost of Electronics.” Since 2013, she and co-director Lynn Zhang have been traveling to Guangzhou and other industrial cities to investigate why Chinese workers — many underage — producing electronics were becoming gravely ill with leukemia and neurological disorders.

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