The Great Hack (2019) is a Netflix documentary that highlights the issue surrounding privacy and security on social media. The film is directed by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, and the documentary focuses on a journey taken by Professor David Carroll as he goes after a company, Cambridge Analytica, to get the profile that they made on him. We follow the journey with him and former Director of Business Development for CA, Brittany Kaiser, to get answers on how CA managed to profile millions of people on Facebook in order to win both the Trump election and Brexit.
What I love about Netflix documentaries is that they cover very different topics, whether that is serial killers, a music festival gone wrong or, in this case, a crackdown on privacy on social media. They are also obscure events that affect us to this day, as most people I know had no idea what Cambridge Analytica. I only knew about the company thanks to a two-minute segment in one lecture of my University course last year, and that only scratched the surface on the Brexit situation.
This means that a topic like this is going to be so informative to many people, who have no idea of the topic but will be able to relate certain influential things that have happened recently to it. Everyone knows about that infamous Mark Zuckerberg court cast, but how many people put that down to Cambridge Analytica? How many people knew that CA was part of the reason why every website that stores information must ask about Cookies? Not many, but they are major in our day and age, and this documentary covers all of that and so much more.
There is so much information packed into this single film. There is one clear message and target for the film, that Cambridge Analytica went too far and took people’s information unfairly and secretly and would not take responsibility for it. However, in that one topic alone, they covered several major political debates (mainly Trump and Brexit’s victory), numerous people and how they felt in the company, and the rise and fall of Cambridge Analytica. Like a solid documentary, it had a mission, a development to the story and then a solid conclusion to the ending, even if the real world is still facing repercussions to this day from the events that unfolded.
Overall, this is another solid documentary from Netflix about a huge issue that many people are unfamiliar with. Whilst they may have not presented the full case as well as I wanted them to, it was still crammed full with information and was very well presented. I would definitely check this out, especially if you live your life on social media.
Have you had a chance to check out The Great Hack yet? How much did you know about Cambridge Analytica before this review? Let me know in the comments down below and let’s have a discussion.