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The Great Hack’: They’ve got your data, and yes they’ve used it

July 28, 2019

By Joshua Rotter : 48hills – excerpt (includes video)

New Netflix doc the depths of social media’s political deception, examining the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case.

THE GREAT HACK Premieres Wed/24 on Netflix. It follows the Cambridge Analytica scandal as it unfolded, describes the breach in user trust, how the data was retrieved, and documents some of the political ramifications of that breach… More info here


Social network Facebook has faced fierce criticism for its dubious privacy practices for years. In the beginning, it was tracking user activity via “Like” button clicks and selling it to advertisers along with personally identifiable information. This info would be used to serve users with relevant digital ads.

“Maybe it’s because I grew up with the Internet as a reality, the ads don’t bother me all that much,” says a student in a Parsons School of Design ad targeting class, in the beginning of Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim’s new Netflix documentary The Great Hack, out July 24. Then she pauses for a moment as if reevaluating her comment, before asking, “When does it turn sour?”

That’s what her instructor, David Carroll—an associate professor at Parsons teaching digital media and developing apps—and a slew of others including journalists and politicians aim to uncover in the highly informative, almost two-hour expose of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Being served relevant ads for products and services like microwave ovens, custom kitchen deliveries, refrigerators, and color TVs is one thing.

But once the news broke in March of 2018 that Facebook had allowed Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, to steal the personal data of 87 million-plus users, intending to target them with propaganda in order to sway their votes in the 2016 presidential election in the US and Brexit in the UK, the public finally began to understand the dangers of sharing their personal data with the social media giant… (more)

Cast of Characters:

Alexander Nix, the former CEO Cambridge Analytica.., perfected communication warfare to help sway elections in developing countries before using on Britain and the US… Started working with Ted Cruz, switched to Trump.

Cambridge Analytica whisleblower, Christopher Wylie,  informed Carole Cadwalladr, at the Guardian, on Brexit interference. He collected the Facebook data by setting up a personality quiz.

Brittany Kaiser, who ran Obama’s Facebook account, moved her talents to Cambridge Analytica, and the other side. She is now a Whistleblower.

Accusations about tech being used against us:

Facebook was used to incite genocide in Myanmar

WhatsApp was recently implicated in the dissemination of fake news that swayed Brazil’s elections.

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