If you haven't been paying attention lately, Facebook just banned Cambridge Analytica from their platform, including the whistleblower that blew the whistle on how Cambridge Analytica was potentially misusing data. Meanwhile, the mainstream media has gone into a frenzy, crashing Facebook's stock, forcing executives out of the company, and calling for social media reform.
This story is seriously a year old, and although I was not the first journalist to write about this, I did bring it to the attention of about 6,300+ readers. While it is new that we have a whistleblower, and the number "50 million accounts", what the media isn't telling you is how Cambridge Analytica actually pulled this off.
The fact of the matter is the data that Cambridge Analytica acquired from Facebook, much of which they obtained legally and as Facebook intended them to, was entirely useless without machine learning.