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5 Documentaries That Illuminate The Need For Digital Data Privacy

Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

While a pretty daunting term, data privacy is not a concept so far out of bounds or only found in great thriller movies. These days, it’s a concept addressed both on a personal and social level. Awareness and vigilance are high on the online self-protection agenda. And so, with data protection being more than a trending topic, here are some movies whose interesting take on digital security is both enthralling and relevant. 

Terms and Conditions May Apply

Filmmaker Cullen Hoback takes us down the rabbit hole that details the consequences of blindly accepting the T&Cs of our favorite social media sites, apps, and websites. With the malaise that borders on the conspiracy theory, the filmmaker can make two distinct points. 

As much as the user enables the use of information sharing, the provider tends to be exploitative. And though we can use security as a shield for our behavior, we cannot justify the implications, harm, and erosion of human rights caused by these actions.

Hacking Democracy

The filmmakers of this documentary take a look at the electronic machines used for voting in the United States. Their chilling investigation finds, leaves you with a sense of being exposed and violated. Technology can be wonderful, but not while undermining democracy-supporting institutions.

The film exposes the vulnerability of voting machines to hacking and the possibility of tampering with the voting outcomes results. The methodical investigative approach leaves no doubt that better care and consideration in ensuring that the systems that express our democracy are protected. 

Cyber Crime

Cyber Crime is a highly instructive and informative documentary. Specialists in the field discuss cyber hacking occurrences, where cyber criminals and hackers steal large sums of money, destroy several companies and then flee. Their job is to use security vulnerabilities and humans in stealing information, passwords, and money. 


Laura Poitra spends six years trying to capture the essence of Julian Assange, the co-founder and man behind Wikileaks. After the release of the much-talked-about DNC leaks, the filmmaker sends the viewer into a world of hackers, deep convictions, and coverups.

Poitra makes the most telling criticism about her own documentary when she comments, “This is not the film I thought I was making. The film tries to capture history as it unfolds, yet fails to critique and ask delving questions of events as they unfold. The viewer is left with more questions than answers.”

The Great Hack 

This film documentary easily illustrates the outcomes of what happens when data is not protected.  Specifically, it’s about careless electoral adventures worldwide, including their connection with Cambridge Analytica – a British data research company digging for information through Facebook users. Data analysis and technological strides are seen as components used in social experimentation as societal reshaping tools. 

Final Note

Documentaries of this nature awaken personal due diligence as they increase awareness of how the world operates when it comes to data privacy in the cyber sphere. Watch them, but most importantly take action to ensure you’re doing your part in self-protection. Bewaring of suspicious emails, using strong passwords, installing VPNs and anti-viruses, and opting-out from information broker sites are excellent ways to stay remain in control of your personal data. 



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