Were You the Same in 2014?

Facebook is pumping out a lot of spin these days. They’re trying to make us forget they ran (and continue to run) a massive, unregulated surveillance operation. They’re trying to distance themselves from Cambridge Analytica in any way possible, before the orange jumpsuits get passed out.

One of the things you’ll notice is the constant inclusion of “2014” in all messaging.  That’s the date the Facebook Graph API was changed to reduce the amount of PII leaked out through their Custom Audience creation tool. They’re using 2014 because it sounds like a long, long time ago. Practically a lifetime in Internet years. So really, nothing to see here.

Four year old data couldn’t possibly be useful, right? Except at the time, it was only two years old. Now how much have you really changed in the last four years? I’ll bet that aside from the age of the kids, your spring break photos on Facebook look pretty much the same this year as they did last year and the year before. You may have moved or purchased a new car. But your fundamental beliefs and values, as indicated by the Big 5 personality traits, probably have not changed.

I think Facebook is running a little scared right now. Everything they say is spin and should be treated with extreme skepticism. Unfortunately, I also believe they’ll probably wriggle out of most of the fines and jail time. Just like they did anything they wanted with our data, they’ll do anything to squirm out of this. There’s nothing a Silicon Valley billionaire fears more than a little time in the big house, next to his or her suckers users.


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