The Great Hack owes a lot to Brittany Kaiser, but what did the future have in store?
Remember the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal? Well, The Great Hack directors Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim certainly do.
Of course, they’re not the only ones. The 2018 political scandal was a big one; it surfaced that Cambridge Analytica had cultivated millions of people’s Facebook profiles – their personal information – without any consent. In turn, this data was dishonestly used for political advertising purposes. Understandably, the public freaked out when the news broke, causing many to take precautions.
This inevitably led to Facebook’s stock prices plummeting, as well as a wider revision of company data policies and widespread paranoia. It was all rather frightening, and the effects of the realisation linger to this day, with less and fewer people trusting the apps which promise to keep them connected.
If you ask the majority, most will only have a vague knowledge of what really went down, and that’s where The Great Hack comes in…
The Great Hack on Netflix
Netflix’s latest documentary landed on Wednesday, July 24th 2019; an integral part of this piece of work, and of course, the unearthing of severe misconduct, is Brittany Kaiser.
She is known as the whistleblower who revealed an abundance of information resulting in the scandal, although some have taken issue with the term. Her insider knowledge as a Cambridge Analytica employee bestows The Great Hack with much of its essential information, as well as offering audiences personal insight into it all.
Throughout the film, we see Brittany in Thailand, but details of anything else were kept pretty under wraps, fuelling a real sense of mystery.
However, the concluding portion of the documentary confirmed that she is now an important data rights advocate, complete with the campaign #OwnYourData. Here it is on Twitter.
Where is Brittany Kaiser now?
According to the profile, she graduated from Phillips Academy in 2005 and served as an intern for President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 over a decade ago. Flash forward to now, however, and it says she is now up in New York City as the proud co-founder of the Digital Asset Trade Association (DATA.)
The profile displays that she has held this position since February 2018, leaving the aforementioned Cambridge Analytica a month later.
Her profile summary – or bio, rather – reveals the following: “I am an international law, diplomacy and data-driven campaigning professional with significant global experience. My work involves developing successful strategies for politicians, governments, and corporations to achieve their goals using cutting edge technology. Currently focused on legislative reform for digital assets such as personal data and tokens on the blockchain.”
Companies like @facebook have been making billions from our data, selling information about where we are, who we love and what we’re doing. And they haven’t kept it safe.— Own Your Data (@OwnYourDataNow) March 31, 2018
It is our right to own our data.
Sign and share our petition: https://t.co/b9njLAASjv #OwnYourData
Is The Great Hack a great success?
The documentary has an admirable Metascore of 68, with some critics praising it with a perfect score.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw awarded it an astonishing five stars, saying; “Anyone who says voting is a waste of time needs to watch this film…” However, it has attracted some criticism, proving time and time again that you can’t win them all.
One of the more negative responses to The Great Hack comes from Pat Brown at Slant Magazine; “It seems so invested in a rehabilitation of Brittany Kaiser’s image that the filmmakers’ own motives end up being its most interesting subject,” they write, in a one-and-a-half star review.
Currently, it boasts an IMDb audience score of 7.1.
In other news, why has Designated Survivor been cancelled?