This week Facebook bought the Boston-based Confirm.io for an undisclosed amount. Confirm.io runs ID authentication checks on any government issued ID. They do it on the spot and without retaining any personal information.
It surprised me how shallow most reporting around this was. The fact that Facebook is buying a company that works on Proof of Identity is very telling. Not only telling but it could have massive consequences for other businesses.
Fake News and content manipulation have been the trojan horse of Facebook this past year. We've gone from a timid social media platform for teenagers to a world-dominating platform that can influence presidential elections. All this in less than 12 months.
Facebook has demonstrated they're extraordinary at scaling. The drawback is that they're awful at knowing who their users are. Yes, they can segment and micro-target like anyone. But they still can't differentiate a persona from who that person is. Facebook isn't alone on this. Any scalable platform is wrestling with the same issues. From Twitter to YouTube to Instagram.