I'm a strong privacy proponent and even more so that any citizen should be in full control of his own data at all times. I have watched countless of documentaries about data privacy: Terms and Conditions May Apply, A Good American, Citizenfour, Nothing to Hide, etc. Unfortunately, this documentary is out there to point fingers at a "one size fits all" culprit, assuming all gullible voters are getting their news from social networks only. This is a very sad hypothesis that is maintained all through the 2 hours. It started OK with the build up around the data privacy issue on social networks, but quickly evolves with the introduction of two ex-Cambridge Analytica (CA) employees the documentarists like to call "Whistleblowers". These two knew very well that what they were doing at CA was toxic and unethical, pushed it, got paid for it and are now trying to milk a dead cow one last time. Christopher Wylie was key in revealing the inner-outs at CA. But what isn't mentioned in the Doc is that he's also one key resource who pitched the idea of aggressive data mining, first in 2009 to the Liberal party of Canada (who refused because too privacy-intrusive), then to CA in 2013-2014 (See CBC news article - Source #11 on his Wikipedia Webpage.) This person profited extensively from this, and now that CA is down, he plays the good guy by pretending to be a whistleblower. In the Doc, he goes as far as making the poor comparison that what happened in 2016 with Trumps/Brexit was cheating, and just like the Olympics, cheaters should lose their medal. Well, what about him? Will he pay back what he earned buy building this privacy invasive tool? (Probably not.) Then comes Brittany Kaiser, ex-Director at CA who clearly lacks a moral compass and only thrive on her ego and pride herself as being a "whistleblower" when her world has finally crumbled. She worked on Obama campaign but switched side at CA to work on Brexit and Trump campaign because this job paid (her own comment btw). None of them are whistleblowers: They are opportunist who profited to the maximum of their position at CA until the scandal exploded. They are key elements that led to my data privacy exploitation and yours as well. They are no Edward Snowden who quit a well paid (200k/yr) job to denounce the NSA. Far from it. There's a 3rd whistleblower (Paul-Olivier Dehaye), but the documentary makes very few reference to him, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Paul Hilder, the Political Technologist, who, in Thailand, tries to convince Mrs Kaiser that using targeted ads and data to "manipulate" voters on the fence to vote for one party or another is unethical and wrong. Political parties has been doing this for years, but now it's outrageous, apparently. Businesses are doing it too. There's mention of Obama using social media "wisely" during his 2012 campaign. But when the other side does it, it becomes a scandal? I expected better from this documentary but my wife and I were left disappointed. Yes, the whole privacy invasion is disgusting, but it's the government's job to tackle it with appropriate laws. And so far, we don't see a lot of efforts to do so, no matter the party in place.
The Great Hack
The Great Hack
The Cambridge Analytica scandal is examined through the roles of several affected persons.
October 27, 2020