The CEO of the social media Giant Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has released a 3,000 words declaration about privacy on Wednesday, March 6 through his own Facebook account. Through this manifesto, he publicized the new six important principles that are behind his new “privacy-centered vision for the social network.” The principles are:
- Private interaction
- Encryption and safety
- Reducing permanence
- Secure data storage
As indicated by Zuckerberg, these six new principles will not be completely embodied in all Facebook products instantly, instead, they will be a guideline for product development in the coming years. However, that development won’t all be in secrecy.
“It could take time, however, we are not going to enact this major change coming in our direction in private,” Zuckerberg is reported to have said. “We are going to carry this change out publicly and collaboratively as we can as many of the problems affect different parts of the society”
Zuckerberg indicated that in the nearest future communication on Facebook will become more private as people embrace the WhatsApp or Messenger App as a means of private communication on the social network. This will likely lead to the decline of public sharing among users as they go for a more personal mode of communication.
Encryption and safety
In his post, Zuckerberg declared that the government most times make “unlawful demands” concerning user data which is why Facebook wants to enable end-to-end encryption in all the messaging applications.
As a result, there will be a limit to even what Facebook can see, as well as placing a limit on Facebook ability to target users with adverts in its messaging services. It could also bring along some delicate legal situations.
In extreme cases, an employee could be jailed for not granting access to another person data even thou Facebook itself cannot access as the information has been encrypted and Zuckerberg gave an example of one of their employees.
Notwithstanding, Zuckerberg is aware that encryption can also be misused by criminal masterminds and terror groups. As a result, Mark is open-minded about liaising with the government, police departments, and many other platforms to effectively implement safety measures.
However, how that will take place in an end-to-end encryption system remain unknown.
We all don’t want our juvenilia used as a criterion when applying for jobs or searching for a mate. As such, Zuckerberg is planning to build more ways to have posts, photos, and videos expiring over time.
Additionally, this measure will reduce the storage demands for catering for a huge billion-plus user social media network, which will definitely be intensive, particularly with the posting of videos.
There has been news of recent that Facebook is looking to merge WhatsApp and Messenger in one way or the other. Mark said in his manifesto that interoperability is the way to go; making it possible for the user to communicate with each other no matter the platform including SMS.
However, it is clear Zuckerberg is only thinking in the form of the platforms which are under Facebook or another open network like SMS. There is no mention of interoperability with other social networks or Messengers.
Secure data storage
The social media giant does not store data in countries with a government that are too intrusive, as Zuckerberg mentioned in his post. Also, Facebook intends to double up its efforts to store information securely.
Obviously, this doesn’t hide the fact that the majority of Facebook data leaks in the previous years was built in by design, be it for advert targeting, provision of Facebook services to other networks. That ultimately led to the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which data of over 50 million users were illegally harvested by the firm Cambridge Analytica.
What is the next step for Facebook?
At the end of it all, Zuckerberg points out, that the ultimate goal of Facebook is secure and private social and communications experiences. Nevertheless, he acknowledges the difficulty of the task at hand, as he said the social media giant doesn’t “presently have that strong reputation as a protector of privacy.”
As time goes on, we’ll see if the social media network is capable of changing that view.