SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Data has surpassed oil as the world’s most valuable asset, according to the new Netflix documentary, The Great Hack.
But we don’t exactly know where it all goes, who wants it, and how it affects us.
“What we’ve realized in making this film is that your phone is not listening in on you, but why you feel that is because you have given up so much of your data, you’ve become a lot more predictable than you think you are,” said Academy Award nominated documentary director Karim Amer.
Filmmakers Amer and Pedro Kos explore the greatest data privacy scandal to hit Facebook: Cambridge Analytica. The company — affiliated with President Trump’s 2016 campaign — had improperly scraped personal data from 87 million users through a quiz app.
“I don’t think anybody wakes up in Silicon Valley and says, ‘Hey, how am I going to wreck democracy today?’ But it’s a byproduct of this hyper-connected reality that we’ve stepped into,” said Amer. “How do you engineer a future that allows for innovation and ethics to coexist?”
The Great Hack uses the saga to tell a bigger story.
“Each one of us are being commoditized and really fueling this trillion dollar marketplace, which is taking everything from your likes, your google searches, your google maps, GPS to whatever you buy using credit cards,” said writer and producer Pedro Kos.
The viral FaceApp, which makes users’ faces look older with filters, raised those privacy and security concerns last week. Democratic party leaders warned campaigns to avoid the Russian-made app.
The Great Hack isn’t trying to discourage social media use. They say users must demand a safe way to have a connected world, built by Silicon Valley.
“We built this, you know?” said Kos. “So we can re-imagine the stream of a connected world.”
Though the film looks at what happens when we lose control of our data, the filmmakers want viewers to feel hopeful that there is a way to hack the system back, and hold the powerful accountable.
The Great Hack is available for streaming everywhere on Netflix on Wednesday, July 24th.