Data Breach Depicted for Mainstream Audiences
At this point in 2019, it is not shocking news to hear about another hack. Data breaches have become inevitable and of the norm now. Netflix, the video streaming giant, has jumped on board to bring more light to the issue. They have released a documentary regarding Facebook’s data hijacking. The breach is commonly known as the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. When the scandal became public last year in 2018, Facebook warned 87 million users that their data was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. At that same time, Facebook had already been attempting to fix their data privacy after there was a platform released to gain personality trait data that may have been leveraged to benefit political campaigns. After the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal was revealed, Facebook’s stock dropped so immensely that it wiped more than $60 billion of market capitalization. Although it took this scandal for Facebook to take it’s users’ privacy seriously, change is now brought about.
Netflix is aiming to release its documentary, The Great Hack, at the very end of July. It is said to have done an outstanding job of explaining for the mainstream viewers the risks and dangers of unmonitored surveillance capitalism. Netflix was able to incorporate the image of everyday people and smart device users living their lives, unaware that their data may be being tracked. Naturally, Facebook cannot be a fan of this publicity. They are seeking to deflect blame and throw out inadmissible details in hopes that the attention will be directed elsewhere.
The purpose of this documentary is to show what can happen when crucial information is stolen through content platforms. The Great Hack claims that the tech giants responsible for the platforms are not bothered by their ad targeting tools and how they could possibly be repurposed for malice use. Almost hitting two hours in duration, Netflix’s documentary recounts the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal of how it may have been a role in Trump’s 2016 election campaign. The Great Hack also zooms out to depict the broader impact of the misuse of data. At the end of the film, the audience may have the same questions that were in the film. Where did Cambridge Analytica attain the information from exactly? What was it used for? These questions have yet to be answered. The discredited data company chose to rather declare bankruptcy and fold under the pressure rather than turn over the stolen information and algorithm secrets.
In the United States, there is a lack of a legal framework that protects privacy. The film also focuses on the major detail of scale. Last year, the value of data had surpassed that of oil. Becoming the “most valuable asset”, data is irresistible. There are people out there willing and trying to corrupt data’s integrity and security for the power it can hold. Netflix displayed the groundwork of social platforms and how users are unknowingly participating in a transaction that trades away their information. The video streaming service has started to depict the issue of our time.