Black Mirror Reflection: Phaxxon Industries

Phaxxon Industries
By Caleb Knight

Trent Walters is a normal teen. He grew up in the suburbs in a middle class family, and had just graduated high school. He waited until the spring semester to enroll in college so he could work to save some money during the fall.

Some months were good for Trent’s family, while other months, he saw his family struggle financially. Luckily for Trent, December was a good month for the Walters family, so that means Trent might be getting the new PMC, the latest smart phone made by Phaxxon Industries that he’s been dying to get, for Christmas.

Lo and behold, Trent opens a fairly small box on Christmas morning to reveal the PMC. He is ecstatic to receive this, and instantly tries out the revolutionary features the PMC offers, such as the face and fingerprint scanners to unlock his phone and approve of purchases.

Months go by, and Trent is studying at Aston University. He’s doing quite well in classes and has made several friends on campus. One night though, he’s with his friend, Gareth, walking around off-campus and chatting about school, relationships, etc.

Out of nowhere, the boys get jumped. Trent sees that Gareth had gotten stabbed in the midst of fighting back, then Trent blacks out shortly after. Trent wakes up in a hospital, goes to call a nurse, but realizes his hand is handcuffed to his bed.

The episode then shows that Phaxxon Industries is not doing well financially, and does several illegal things such as using phone records to steal user’s money, or hiring people to prey on and rob small groups of people, such as Trent and Gareth.

Trent is told that he is being arrested for the murder of Gareth, as they found fingerprints on the knife. Focus then turns back to Phaxxon  Industries and shows that they used the fingerprint used on Trent’s phone to frame him for the murder of Gareth.

They printed out his fingerprint and placed it onto a substance that would be placed on the knife’s handle, so that the Phaxxon employees are not connected to the murder. Trent is then sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Gareth.

This episode focuses on the skepticism held by many people about how much personal information companies such as Apple and Android have on its users and the potential effects that it could have.

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