Netflix's The Great Hack: What they know about us

Sept. 24, 2019

Following the controversial participation of Facebook in the dissemination of fake-news by the Donald Trump campaign in 2016, Internet users have realized how vulnerable the data of our social network profiles is. 

The company Cambridge Analytica, the brain behind these and other political campaigns carried out from the data of millions of users in the world, is the focus of attention in one of Netflix's latest documentaries, The Great Hack. Here at Guidedoc we take a look at this film that dissects how the powerful manipulate what we consume on the internet to maintain or assault power. 

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Directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim, this Netflix documentary begins with the challenge taken by David Carroll, a professor of Media Design who decides to sue Cambridge Analytica in an English court demanding that the company give him the data it took from his social networks for corporate purposes.

From here, the film unfolds a varied repertoire of picturesque characters that played a leading role in the success of Cambridge Analytica in the Brexit referendum and the presidential election of Donald Trump.


One of these characters is Brittany Kaiser, who worked in Cambridge Analytica for such campaigns hand in hand with the main "antagonist" of the film, the Cambridge Analytica C.E.O. Alexander Nix. Kaiser progressively becomes the main thread of the film when she decides to reveal the company's practices and collaborate with the investigations carried out by parliaments and judicial bodies of Washington and London after the scandal.

The documentary shows us crucial scenes of these investigations, such as the famous interpellation of Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckemberg, before the United States Congress or the curious appearance of Alexander Nix before the media commission of the British parliament.

Fortunately, the narrative of the film is sufficiently educational to explain the intricate mechanism by which the data of Internet users is captured and used through algorithms that create personality prototypes that are targeted for commercial and political purposes.


On the other side of the board, we also follow the struggle of journalist and activist Carole Cadwalladr, who has investigated the Cambridge Analytical case since its origin and is committed to raise awareness of the risks placed on our private information as the people in power could use it against ourselves without our knowledge.

In a world where data has displaced oil as the main asset of the world economy, seeing The Great Hack is a unique opportunity to defend ourselves against the great political and corporate powers, and finally open a debate on how our digital lives will be regulated in the future.

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