Back to the complete issue
Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Netflix documentary double bill shines a spotlight on privacy, data, and the threat of social media

Netflix documentary double bill shines a spotlight on privacy, data, and the threat of social media: Facebook’s reputation as the world’s biggest espionage agency is in the spotlight again these days with the release of the Netflix documentary The Great Hack (watch, runtime: 1:54:13). The film does a pretty good job chronicling the 2017 Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw the political consultancy firm gather data on Facebook users and use it to target swing voters in key states that helped Donald Trump win the 2016 US presidential election. The film also highlights Cambridge Analytica’s role in Brexit and numerous other political campaigns in developing countries using data gathered from Facebook.

Check out Terms and Conditions May Apply for a more nuanced picture: The Great Hack falls slightly short by focusing on the Cambridge Analytica whistleblowers’ stories at the expense of addressing the wider system of “terms and conditions” that allows for the manipulation and monetization of private data. To get a more nuanced look at a world where the users of social media are the products in a USD tn industry, we recommend watching 2013’s Terms and Conditions May Apply (watch, runtime: 1:19:10). The tactics used by social media companies — from hard-to-read terms and conditions agreements to the hiring of casino consultants to help us get addicted to notifications — are explored at much greater length in this film. Taken together, we dare you take another one of those Facebook quizzes or try that Face app.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.