A lot of people ask if “The Great Hack” is based on a true story. Have you seen the Netflix movie or documentary “The Great Hack”? If you haven’t, then you should really try to or at least you can read a review of it here. Once again, brought to the fore is the issue of user data and what they are actually used for beyond the reason for which the user provided the data in the first place and also without the knowledge such a user.
The Great Hack Amplifies the Value of Data
It appears that more people who before this time never really understood how important data is, are beginning to do so even if not as yet fully. This statement by Brittany Kaiser of Cambridge Analytica puts the issue of data in some tangible context. She said “Data’s the most valuable asset on Earth,” and this could not be any truer. Beyond Customer Relationship Management (CRM), targeted marketing campaigns and all those other nice things that we all know that data is used to improve, we are beginning to see the dark side too.
Politicians are up in arms because they have now seen that data can be used to remove them from office. Governments now see that certain sections of a nation can be carefully targeted and made to act in certain ways. It is now clear that he who holds the data controls it all. Sadly, while the movie exposes a lot of issues about data usage and mismanagement, it does not provide any clear solutions. We, therefore, have more questions than answers.
What to Do
Sadly, other than totally exclude oneself from everything that is connected to the internet, there is really nothing much anyone can do without necessary governmental policies. That said, there is a need to be more careful about how we download apps. You will note that these apps all ask for certain permissions. Read each permission being asked very carefully and ask yourself why the app is seeking such permission. Just understand that every permission you grant allows some companies to gain access to certain information from your device.
A good example is the FaceApp that was widely downloaded a short while back. A great back but what as the cost to each user in terms of data mining? How many downloaders read the permissions and agreements? While we await a concrete action from necessary policymakers, we must ensure we do our best to ensure our cybersecurity the best we can.