Sunday 4 August 2019

The Great Hack - Your data is also your human rights

Over the weekend, I watched a documentary on Netflix called The Great Hack was about how our personal data on the internet can be so easily accessible by companies who make a profit out of those data.

The documentary follows a professor, a few other key characters and depicts mostly on Cambridge Analytica, a company that made use of data from the internet of individuals to influence key events like the US elections 2016 and Leave.Eu Campaign.

For the US elections 2016, they showed how tech giants like Facebook was employed by Trump to planned ads that was very much directed to the individuals especially those in swing states.

So what Cambridge Analytica did as a political consulting firm was that they used surveys like personality test several facebook users, what these user were not aware was that besides getting information of them, it also got access to information of all of their friends.

Throughout the show, you can see that there were 2 whistle blowers from Cambridge Analytica with Brittany Kaiser being more in the spotlight as she was one of the key person linked to Alexander Nix, the then CEO of Cambridge Analytica who helped influence more than 200 elections globally.

In the show, it explained how in many countries, right wings authoritarian are being elected for example Nigeria, Myanmar's Rohingya where racial discrimination was amplified through social media could all be linked to how data on the internet was used.

It is scary because, at first maybe you might think oh it's nothing, I dont put much of my life on social media but there are many people out there who do.

This means that in a way, companies can make use of that to influence their decisions and the decisions can in turn affect me as it could affect the country or the surroundings. 

At the end of the documentary, it showed how no one needed to pay for the breach of data of millions of people and what they did was to just access hundred thousands of people's profile before getting to their friend's data. 

The show ended with some key highlights and I think this statement really highlighted how Trump used digital ads to his advantage:
"Donald Trump's 2016 digital campaign director claimed to have run 5.9 million visual ads on Facebook in contrast to Hillary Clinton's 66,000"
My View on the The Great Hack:

This documentary really just opened my view on how technology can significantly change our perspective in things through personalized messages. 

It was also mentioned that people always had this idea of geeks being behind technology and working hard for the goodness of it but through this, Cambridge Analytica showed that the people behind could also be misusing it.

I think its really a good watch and makes you think twice about what you are putting out there in the internet.

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