Facebook Announces Major Privacy-Focused Transformation

Posted on March 6, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Social with 30 Comments

Facebook is announcing some huge plans for its services today. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg today published a blog post on the company’s privacy-focused vision for the future as it looks to gain people’s trust back.

“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 currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services, and we’ve historically focused on tools for more open sharing. But we’ve repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want, including in private messaging and stories,” Zuckerberg said.

The company will focus heavily on end-to-end encryption for products like Facebook Messenger and Instagram to help users feel safer on the platforms. Facebook wants to focus on private, ephemeral content that’s been a major factor for most modern social networks as of late.

The company wants to deliver simple, intimate “places” for people to communicate within, and offer the sense of security that it lacks right now. The company plans to enable end-to-end encryption on its services to prevent anyone, including the company itself, from accessing people’s data. WhatsApp already offers end-to-end encryption, the idea behind the whole privacy-focused transformation is massively inspired by WhatsApp.

Facebook also plans to offer secure data storage for users, so they don’t have to worry about governments and security agents accessing their private conversations. Facebook won’t be storing data in countries that don’t respect the user’s privacy, and it is even willing to get banned in such countries to protect users’ data. “Upholding this principle may mean that our services will get blocked in some countries, or that we won’t be able to enter others anytime soon. That’s a tradeoff we’re willing to make. We do not believe storing people’s data in some countries is a secure enough foundation to build such important internet infrastructure on,” Zuckerberg wrote.

This is all just a vision for what Facebook is planning, however. None of this is shipping right now, and Zuckerberg isn’t saying when these changes will be made to its services. The changes here are huge, however — both Messenger and Instagram have billions of users, and major changes like these aren’t easy to deliver. Especially when you factor in things like government agencies and other complications, it’s not going to be easy, even for a big organization like Facebook.

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