Last week folks were shocked to learn that FaceApp’s terms of service allowed it to access their data, share that data and much more but what struck a chord with us was that Facebook does exactly the same thing.
This fact was thrust into sharp relief in 2018 when news broke that analytics firm Cambridge Analytica had used Facebook user data (among other data points) to influence the outcome of elections.
Now Netflix has released a documentary looking at privacy, Cambridge Analytica and how we as users gave up our data in exchange for memes and photos of friends.
More than that, however, the documentary tells the story of the many people that blew the whistle on what Cambridge Analytica did and how Facebook seemingly let it happen.
What shocks us is just how well orchestrated the influencing in both the US elections and UK EU referendum vote was.
Throughout The Great Hack you will grow increasingly concerned with the way Silicon Valley has treated user data. More than that, we grew angrier as we saw just how much our data was being abused and just how openly Cambridge Analytica bragged about the amount of data it had on users.
But while our anger at Cambridge Analytica was bad, it has nothing on how we feel about Facebook.
While Facebook wasn’t the firm feeding voters misinformation and stoking their emotions, it allowed Cambridge Analytica to execute its persuasion campaign unabashed on its platform.
The documentary highlights an important issue that is gaining increased traction – folks need to be more mindful of what they share, what they do online and how that could be weaponised against them.
We don’t want to spoil too much about The Great Hack there are a number of great moments. For example, Brittany Kaiser finding a metaphorical loaded gun in her calendar detailing meetings with US senators to prepare for political campaigns with help from Cambridge Analytica.
The depth of the intrusion is extreme and shocking but we feel that folks need to understand just how vulnerable they are when they share every aspect of their lives online.
The Great Hack is available to stream on Netflix right now and we recommend you watch that instead of a horror film this weekend. The effect on your emotions will be the same.