Mark Zuckerberg Outlines New Plan to Build 'Privacy-Focused' Facebook

Why We Should Be Skeptical of Mark Zuckerberg's New Commitment To Privacy

The idea of a privacy-focused messaging platform is great in principle, but when it is proposed by a company that makes its billions through advertising and utilizing private data, healthy scepticism is to be expected.

"Many people prefer the intimacy of communicating one-on-one or with just a few friends".

"I understand that many people don't think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform - because frankly we don't now have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services, and we've historically focused on tools for more open sharing", Zuckerberg wrote in the post. But we've repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want, including in private messaging and stories.

"I believe we should be working towards a world where people can speak privately and live freely knowing that their information will only be seen by who they want to see it and won't all stick around forever", he wrote.

"People should expect that we won't store sensitive data in countries with weak records on human rights like privacy and freedom of expression in order to protect data from being improperly accessed", Zuckerberg wrote.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2018.

At present, Facebook provides end-to-end encryption to Messenger users through "Secret Conversations", but this privacy feature isn't a default one. So we won't keep messages or stories around for longer than necessary to deliver the service or longer than people want them.

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And users are more likely to stay within Facebook's properties if they can easily message their friends across different services, rather than having to switch between Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. "We don't now have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services", Zuckerberg wrote today in what may be the single greatest understatement of his lifetime.

End-to-end encryption will leave Facebook finding some battles paradoxically easier to fight, because it can throw its hands up and declare itself powerless to intervene.

And on the seventh day of March the clouds above Menlo Park parted, and lo, Mark Zuckerberg spoke of privacy. One technology writer described the move as "a power grab disguised as an act of contrition".

These challenges must have included Facebook's ongoing problems with adequately protecting their user's privacy as well as their commercial relationships with major partners.

"Duolingo thanks Privacy International for their important work raising awareness of this issue", a Duolingo spokesperson said in an email. A diminishment of privacy is its core product. "Of course, this would be opt-in and you will be able to keep your accounts separate if you'd like".

James Cordwell, a financial analyst at Atlantic Equities, said Facebook's strategy risks undercutting its current way of making money.

Facebook has been criticized for the way it handles the private information of its clients. "This makes the company smaller, and therefore less powerful when it comes to negotiating with other businesses and with regulators". Public social networks will continue to be very important in people's lives.

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