Al Harkan












The Great Hack (2019)

“You set out to connect people and you are refusing to acknowledge that this same technology is now driving us apart.”

This quote just summed how social media has transformed from a technology to connect people into a weapon to divide society. And this movie telling the story behind it quite well.

“The Great Hack” invited us to follow the unraveling of Cambridge Analytica (CA) case from at least 3 perspectives:

  • Brittany Kaiser – former CA Business Development & the whistle-blower,
  • Professor David Caroll – a US citizen who went to the UK to demand CA to fully undisclosed their data on him, and
  • Carole Cadwalladr – a journalist for The Guardian who is working on the CA case and later became Pulitzer Prize finalist.

This documentary is quite slow in the storytelling pace compared to Vox’s videos that I mostly watched. And since the news of CA case didn’t get much coverage in Indonesia, I think you have to have the context regarding Trump and Brexit before you watch this movie, because it didn’t cover that much before it goes explaining the data leak.

I was expecting this movie to go into the technical details of how they actually conducted ‘the hack’, but it didn’t.

It’s more of a story of how the actors behind the scandals worked, by going through several interviews and hearings.

If this CA case was never happened, to be honest I would’ve been dreaming to work for Cambridge Analytica. 

It has everything: a data-driven communication company with advanced use of big data, serving multi-national clients. Alexander Nix – the former CEO, was a genius doing his business, but it’s very unfortunate of him that they misused the technology the company had.

“How did the dream of the connected world tear us apart?”

Now that Cambridge Analytica has no longer existed, its technology remains available and the use of it is inevitable. There will always be another business like Cambridge Analytica, but it will be more regulated to comply with people’s personal data rights. Today more and more data rights awareness are being campaigned and more people join the movement. Let’s just hope that the big companies holding our data will learn from the CA case to better manage our trusted data, along with us to be wiser to manage our own.