For many of us, An Inconvenient Truth was a wake-up call to the existential threat of climate change. I hope that a new Netflix documentary, The Great Hack, will serve as a wake-up call to what may be an even greater threat.

The film examines how Cambridge Analytica used our detailed personal data – much of it collected by that biggest app of all, Facebook – to help swing elections, including the 2016 US presidential election.

Why do I think the threat of using personal data to manipulate voters may be a bigger threat than climate change? Because we can’t address climate change, or any complicated issue, if we don’t have a functioning democracy. And it seems that democracy can’t withstand the use of big data for the micro-targeting voters.

The Great Hack helped me better understand the incredibly high price we’re paying for so-called “free” apps, news, and entertainment on the internet. Please, watch the film, and let’s start figuring out how to protect our data rights. The stakes could not be higher.

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