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The new documentary "The Great Hack" captures how Facebook's cavalier handling of user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal posed a threat to democracy.
But it doesn't prove the filmmakers' claims that the ill-gotten data helped elect Donald Trump.
Movie - Netflix - Theaters - Wednesday - Cambridge
The movie, out on Netflix and some theaters Wednesday, follows former Cambridge Analytica executive Brittany Kaiser around the world, from the Burning Man festival in Nevada to a pool at a hideout in Thailand to a flight from New York to testify in Robert Mueller's investigation on 2016 election interference. She reveals internal emails, calendar entries and video sales pitches, although the movie doesn't quite connect the dots on what the documents really say.
Instead, the movie is mostly a recap of what's already been reported in various news outlets. If you've never heard of Cambridge Analytica, or you aren't steeped in all the details of the scandal that landed Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress and his company under major federal investigations, "The Great Hack" provides a good overview on way companies like Facebook collect and use data to influence your thinking. It's also worth watching for a reminder of the tremendous power and threat of Big Data.
Cambridge - Analytica - Data - Facebook - App
Cambridge Analytica drew data through a Facebook app that purported to be a psychological research tool. Roughly 270,000 people downloaded and shared personal details with the app. Under Facebook's policies at the time, the app was able to draw information from those users' friends as well, even though those friends never consented. Facebook said as many as 87 million people might have had their data accessed.
The app was designed by then-Cambridge University psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan. Cambridge Analytica, whose clients included Trump's 2016 general election campaign, paid Kogan for a copy of the data, even though the firm was not authorized to have that information. Cambridge...
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