• Ankita Dutt Mishra

How free are we really? The Great Hack; Netflix Original

A rainy August afternoon, a hot cup of cappuccino and a brainstorming Netflix original to start. That’s how typical our day at the PFA Art Studio begins. I remember Atharva talking about this Netflix show the other day at studio and how brilliant he found the show to be.

I did not know much about the show and hence decided to trust the IMDB reviews & ratings. Well, after browsing the webpage for a minute, the film seemed fairly interesting & appealing.

After all, the film talks about one of the most popular online data scandal “The Cambridge Analytica” and the very infamous concept of Data Manipulation. Recently, I observed this about people around that when it comes to data and what is happening with it across the globe; it not only generates curiosity but also a strange concern among many of us. Hence, The Great Hack seemed like a good watch.

The film is distributed by Netflix and runs for about 2 hours. It is directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim where their idea of narration through David Caroll, a media professor appeared engaging & informative to viewers.

The Great Hack gives you a brief about how brilliantly social media is allowing the massive use of user data across different channels & platforms. The film takes you deeper into what happened back in 2016 at United States Elections and how the dark world of data exploitation is taking a political agenda.

Remember the quizzes we all use to answer on Facebook & Twitter, where we naively responded to various types of questions? Well, how about your crucial data being circulated on different platforms through these quizzes. Data, is arguably becoming a asset for many such giants to fulfill their own socio-political agendas.

The film also focuses on how Facebook & now bankrupt Cambridge Analytica funded the Republican Robert Mercer, which harvested the personal information of 50 million social media giants’ users to sway 2016 elections.

The film also left me questioning my love for social media and how safe my data is out there at these mediums.

It was only a few weeks ago, that the app which makes you look older went viral & how everyone and literally everyone on the social network started putting up their picture.

But hey! Everything which becomes viral has a purpose and here comes the news of the app for sharing your data to many other third parties came the next few days on the web got circulated.

Well, let me confess: I have a picture of myself looking much older in my phone gallery and all thanks to the love of social media that I, like everybody else immediately installed the app to see the older version of myself. I am sure before uploading an image, media file or filling any forms at these social media platforms, we don’t think or investigate much, in fact, we jump to putting up our data & making everything crucial available out there on the cloud.

My fourth cappuccino of the day by the window & “The Great Hack” left me thinking about how soon we’re going to celebrate independence this year. After all these years of living an independent life in the country, are we, the technology slaves are really free?

Think about it while you brew your coffee this rainy afternoon.

If you also have something to share on your idea of independence, we’re looking forward to hear you over a cup of hot brew at our studio, or maybe just drop us an email on contact@pfaindia.com

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