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I think there are two issues with the FB data being conflated here: CA's targeted advertising and the population data itself.

For the advertising, concur there's a lot of disagreement over whether or not CA's models worked.

For the data though, having a dataset on population preferences and network connections is useful for things besides just advertising. For example, most people agree the Russian campaign was based on dividing the population on divisive issues; the data exfiltrated from Facebook should reveal any particular group's divisive issues.

TLDR; There's other uses for the data besides targeted ads in the broader topic of data privacy.

I think that very few people who buy ads in politics believe CA's model works. I think Russians could figure out that race was divisive in the US because they've known that and their propaganda has long centered on American racism. It doesn't mean it's not a scandal to have all that data exfiltrated, but it's not materially impactful.

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