It sounds scary… but is it important?
Another day, another Cambridge Analytica story. The New York Times reports
that the company received help from “at least one employee at Palantir Technologies, a top Silicon Valley contractor to American spy agencies and the Pentagon.”
Okay… but what does this tell us that’s useful? Sure, both companies have reputations for having engaged in shady behaviour over the years, but I’m really not sure what the significance of this story is.
It seems every day now, we get some new detail about this story that sounds mildly ominous. Follow the right people on Twitter, and you’ll see fresh questions daily about Cambridge Analytica’s dealings around the world, and who might have been involved in them.
Sure, some of it might end up being significant, but can we calm it on all the coverage for now? If there’s a solid new scandal to be uncovered, bring it to light. But drip feeding vaguely sinister-sounding details about things that might not have been sinister at all is just fuel for conspiracy theorists.