Facebook Wants To Make Social Networks More Private

Signage is displayed outside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park California. Bloomberg

Signage is displayed outside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park California. Bloomberg

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.

The company will focus on private and encrypted communications, where users can message smaller groups of friends, according to a New York Times analysis of the news.

If you're skeptical of all this, don't worry. Beyond that, significant thought needs to go into all of the services we build on top of that foundation - from how people do payments and financial transactions, to the role of businesses and advertising, to how we can offer a platform for other private services.

At the very least, the missive does appear to mark a definitive end for Facebook's onetime edict to make it "open and connected". 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). In fact, Facebook is following a long corporate tradition of about-face rebranding efforts.

Is Facebook finally giving up its plan to re-enter markets like China? He said Facebook could tell antitrust authorities that WhatsApp, Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger are tied so tightly together that it couldn't unwind them. Since the data is sent with a unique identifier, a user's Google advertising ID, it would be easy to link this data into a profile and paint a fine-grained picture of someone's interests, identities and daily routines.

Critics are also describing this move as a thinly veiled attempt to sideline the strict regulations that are being considered in several states and are aimed at protecting user data and privacy.

"I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won't stick around forever", Zuckerberg said on his Facebook post.

Facebook exists primarily to sell advertisements - and its entire business model rests on mining our data to do just that.

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Huawei's equipment is seen as considerably more advanced than that of competitors such as Sweden's Ericsson or Finland's Nokia. Huawei executives say American security warnings have yet to affect sales outside the United States.

After being involved in many data breaches and privacy debacles, Zuckerberg said he aims to build Facebook into a private service which is more secure, like WhatsApp, which has end-to-end encryption.

Zuckerberg framed the strategy as a user choice, including the phrase "people want" six times in his blog post, and citing the fast growth of ephemeral and private communication on his company's services.

Soon, however, all of Facebook's apps will have encryption, meaning - in theory - that only the sender and receiver would be able to see the content of any messages.

He added that he believes public social networks will continue to be "very important" to people due to their power to connect individuals, but that the way people want to use them has changed.

Zuckerberg continued, "As we build our infrastructure around the world, we've chosen not to build data centres in countries that have a track record of violating human rights like privacy or freedom of expression". The organization also contacted Facebook and urged them to change their SDK to prevent data collection without consent.

The emphasis of the service is not on private messaging.

"Zuck's "privacy focused vision for social networking" mentions no plan or intention to stop selling peoples' activity to third parties", pointed out lawyer Denise Howell.

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