March 9, 2019
Mark Zuckerberg is on a mission to rehabilitate Facebook’s image. The CEO announced his new “privacy-focused vision” for the social media platform this week – but it looks more like a PR stunt than anything else.
“Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks,”Zuckerberg wrote. Now, is there anyone who really believes Facebook was built to give people “the freedom to be themselves?”
Zuckerberg does understand, however, why people are questioning Facebook’s newfound commitment to privacy, “…because frankly we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services.” For a company plagued with privacy scandal after privacy scandal, that seems like a bit of an understatement.
Putting “Privacy-focussed” in the headline is a great strategy, but none of the things mentioned stop Facebook knowing who you are, your location, mobile number, who you’re connected to, linking this to other data sets, or following you around the web https://t.co/iKhYUtl4CC pic.twitter.com/UeRRpxWzz2
— Jeremy Burge 🐥🧿 (@jeremyburge) March 6, 2019
Still, reading through Zuckerberg’s grand vision for a new kind of privacy-focused Facebook, we are given the impression that the company is about to completely revamp itself from top to bottom – but the only real concrete change proposed is one that critics are already saying might not enhance privacy that much and isn’t even really motivated by privacy concerns at all.
Essentially, Zuckerberg plans to integrate Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram direct messages to build a kind of single, end-to-end messaging system (which we’ve actually known-about since January). This change is because he now believes “the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be…