Published: Fri, March 08, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Zuckerberg Vows "Privacy-Focused" Future At Facebook

Zuckerberg Vows

Privacy International said it brought the issue up with the European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO, announced the shift in a Wednesday blog post apparently meant to blunt both criticism of the company's data handling and potential antitrust action. "Many people prefer the intimacy of communicating one-on-one or with just a few friends", he said. Facebook makes occasional nods to granting users greater control over their privacy, but at the end of the day, data about users is what makes Mark Zuckerberg's company tick. Facebook pulls in gargantuan profits by selling ads targeted using the information it amasses on its users and others they know.

Facebook shares rose 0.7 percent on Wednesday.

Critics aren't convinced Zuckerberg is committed to meaningful change.

In a Thursday article for the MIT Technology Review, editor and journalist Konstantin Kakaes claimed Zuckerberg's post "shows why Facebook needs to be broken up".

What this new platform will look like is anyone's best guess. In 2018, it emerged that the data of about 50 million users had been harvested and passed on to a political consultancy. But an "intimate" feeling "environment" isn't really going to cut it. Facebook has already been fined $122 million by the European Union for misleading antitrust regulators when it said its WhatsApp acquisition would not mean user information from the two platforms would be combined (which, of course, it was). That means Facebook still gets information about your app-related activities, even if you don't have a Facebook account or if you're signed out.

We plan to build this the way we've developed WhatsApp: focus on the most fundamental and private use case - messaging - make it as secure as possible, and then build more ways for people to interact on top of that, including calls, video chats, groups, stories, businesses, payments, commerce, and ultimately a platform for many other kinds of private services.

Casting aside the service's well-known newsfeed structure after a series of privacy scandals, he said that all Facebook messaging apps would have end-to-end encryption like that offered on WhatsApp, which it owns.

Facebook is one of the biggest global players in private messaging with its WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, each used by more than 1 billion people.

Reducing Permanence. People should be comfortable being themselves, and should not have to worry about what they share coming back to hurt them later. The SDK integrates with apps to provide features like analytics or letting users log in with Facebook. Previously, after Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp adopted the "Stories" format pioneered by Snap.

The emphasis of the service is not on private messaging. We know how valuable such information is, because documents released by the United Kingdom parliament show how Facebook used its Onavo virtual private network (VPN) app to gather usage data on competitors.

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. "How this affects the business down the line, we'll see", Zuckerberg said. "That's a trade-off we're willing to make".

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