The Circle by Dave Eggers follows the story of Mae Holland, who gets a job at the biggest technology firm in the world, The Circle, with the help of her friend Annie. The Circle has got rid of anonymity on the internet and has taken over most functions and systems online. The company was founded by a man called Ty, who is now rarely seen, and it is primarily run by Eamon Bailey (the company’s friendly face) and Tom Stenton (the driver behind the company’s financial success). The Circle is based on a huge campus which employees never need to leave and where they are encouraged to stay for events and parties outside of working hours.
Mae quickly gets into her role in Customer Experience and does well. However, she is disciplined a few times for not participating enough in The Circle’s community, either online or in person. She struggles to balance her life at the company with her wish to look after her parents (as her father has multiple sclerosis). Soon, however, her parents are put onto The Circle’s health insurance, which helps them enormously.
The Circle has developed a tiny, affordable camera called SeeChange, which can be put up anywhere round the world. This means that it is possible for citizens to be watched at any time. A politician commits to wearing a SeeChange camera at all times, becoming “transparent” to the people she represents.