The Great Hack
Director: Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim
Year Released: 2019
Documentarians Amer and Noujaim (whose Control Room is very good) review the scandal involving UK-based Cambridge Analytica, a 'political consultant' company run by Alexander Nix (but co-founded by Steve Bannon, who can never not be suspicious), which took supplied user information from Facebook and then 'tailored' 'skewed' political ads (using "weapons-grade technology!") to certain individuals in order to 'sway' their opinions - when Professor David Carroll from Parsons School for Design heard about this, he tried suing to get his data back (he couldn't). The directors tend to over use "pop-up" bubbles and "digital effects" for 'style points' and the gist of the movie could easily be picked up in the first hour - there's a bit of bloat going on - although it is an 'important' film, and both Carroll and "whistleblower" Brittany Kaiser (a very questionable young lady) are totally right about how "data is the new oil" in terms of monetary value. I do have a few lingering questions, however: (1.) If Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election would this have even been made (Cambridge Analytica worked on the Obama campaign in some capacity)? (2.) Am I wrong in thinking that part of the burden of blame comes on people themselves who never learned to keep vital personal information off the Internet? and (3.) Is everyone aware of the irony that this is on Netflix, which also uses 'data mining' to 'customize' their subscribers' experience? Many people don't know who he is (and they should), but Richard M. Stallman (usually abbreviated RMS) has been preaching about this very issue for what feels like decades. Privacy is the new gold.