Blimpy McBlimpface

4 min read

Georgia Iacovou

05 Apr 2019

Keep an eye on your third parties, because otherwise…

540 million Facebook profiles have been stored openly on AWS by Cultura Colectiva. Right okay… there are multiple organisations at fault here, but look at it in this order:

  1. Cultura Colectiva are a digital media publisher based in Mexico. They publish content for Latin American audiences.
  2. They would not be able to create and publish content this attractive to their target audience unless they had a huge bucket of consumer data from which to harvest ideas. But where to find such a bucket?
  3. Ding ding ding, yes it’s Facebook. Ha, who knew…

Essentially what Cultura Colectiva did was store 146gb of information including user IDs, likes, comments, and account names, just openly on the internet like it’s no big deal. So yes, that was very wrong of them. However, lest we forget who made this all possible: Facebook. Cultura Colectiva would not have ever gotten their hands on this much user data if it wasn’t for Facebook being so generous in dishing it out. So thanks guys, you’re really working well together.

Oh no, a blimp. What’s the world coming to?

Listen, if you saw this video and thought it was real, I don’t blame you. I mean, why wouldn’t Amazon have a giant blimp in the sky releasing delivery drones? If you look at it from their perspective, it’s actually a good idea and it makes sense. It’s efficient, and more environmentally friendly than using large carbon-burping road vehicles.

The people on Twitter calling this “borderline dystopian” are annoying and wrong and here’s why:

This useless, superficial, scare-mongering chattery is distracting the average consumer from understanding how companies like Amazon have been systematically gathering and processing data on us for over a decade now. Anyone can do a blimp, but can anyone guess that you’re pregnant from how your browsing habits have changed?

Ugh, WHY am I seeing this?

Facebook are sort of throwing us a bone right now with a ‘why am I seeing this’ button on newsfeed ads. This timing makes sense, considering most Facebook users right now are probably itching for even a tiny bit of transparency. But will this make any difference to anything?

Yes, because:

No, because:

So yes, this new feature is sort of a good thing because a bit more transparency from Facebook is well overdue. But don’t mess yourself just yet, because quite frankly this is the least they can do.

the author

Georgia Iacovou

Content Writer