The Great Hack (Netflix) – Review

The Great Hack is an apt description of the rise of documentary films and their popularity among various circles. Even for people who are not used to watching documentaries, The Great Hack is an interesting and important viewing choice. Although the main focus of this film is not Asian countries, we can learn a lot from it.

David Caroll is a professor who sued Cambridge Analytica to ask for his data back. Cambridge Analytica is a British political consulting firm. David Caroll has long had a concern about misuse of data and information. If currently an internet user has 5000 data points, by the time his daughter is 18 years old each person will have 70 thousand data points. This is a huge invasion of privacy. Someone’s personal data is unconsciously taken, recorded, tracked, and his way of life is mapped. This person will be an easy target for manipulation. Best Movie Site

David Caroll’s fear should stir fear in us too. Many of us skip the terms and conditions page before ticking the word okay or I accept. We use various applications both on PC and cellphone without considering how to keep privacy safe. What David Caroll thought became real when he learned about the campaign in the 2016 general election in America.

Donald Trump owns the campaign team that created Project Alamo. To win the election, Trump spent a million dollars a day on just this one project. The money is used mainly for campaigns on the internet. Inside Project Alamo were people from Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Cambridge Analytica. Their campaign tactic is to send personalized messages. This means that the campaign material received by each person is adjusted to that person’s personality.

Actually, this is something we usually encounter everyday. When we open the explore page on Instagram, the content recommendations we receive will be different from others. Every likes, comments, DMs, and follows that we do are considered by the algorithm to present certain content recommendations. However, this will be misuse of data if the goal is political manipulation. Potential voters who are considered to be persuaded will be bombarded with certain content so that they are convinced to choose one of the candidates.

This case is not the first time. Apart from Trump’s election campaign, there are also Brexit and elections in Trinidad & Tobago. Cambridge Analytica claims they have worked in many countries and influenced various existing political policies. Their work is not just a campaign to win elections. They even mentioned being involved in Indonesia, to be precise the overthrow of the Soeharto regime.

The issues raised were no longer just allegations of Trump campaign fraud or Brexit. The topic also extends to whether we should view democracy in the same way. It is not certain that the elections we are running are correct without any manipulation in them. We also get prompted by another question: how much has our data been stolen? Can we have it back? Isn’t ownership of personal data a part of human rights? Movie Review

The Great Hack is not only very interesting to watch because it opens our eyes to relevant cases in this world. Our awareness of protecting personal data and criticizing elections has been formed. Without realizing it, maybe we are part of the internet users who were targeted by Cambridge Analytica because they were easy to persuade. Although Cambridge Analytica is now gone, it is not impossible that similar service providers will emerge. What should be appreciated from the making of this film is the efforts of Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer not to side with anyone who is in The Great Hack. They try to present a balanced investigation by providing space for various parties to voice their respective versions. This includes an interview from former Cambridge Analytica COO Julian Whetland.

The film format itself is interesting. We will not be bored while enjoying this almost two hour long film. In an interview, Karim Amer and Pedro Kos (scriptwriters of The Great Hack) said the aim of this film is not to spill all the blame on Cambridge Analytica. The biggest criticism should be addressed to how we run this democracy. We are the ones who make democracy a commercial subject. Top Movie

That’s why there are services like Cambridge Analytica’s offer. Although its founding age is not old enough, Cambridge Analytica is actually a new form of SCL Group. It was the SCL Group that claimed responsibility for Suharto’s overthrow. If it turns out that SCL Group is able to metamorphose into Cambridge Analytica, it is not impossible that there will be a new form of this company that will emerge at a later date. Use technology wisely.

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