Facebook’s chief executive has promised to transform privacy on the social network with new encryption that even the site’s bosses cannot penetrate.
The move comes after criticism of Facebook’s problems with privacy controls and data sharing.
In a blog post, Mark Zuckerberg wrote: As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms.
Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.
His multi-year plan would see Facebook’s messaging services covered with encryption so strong that even Facebook would not be able to see the messages.
This is already a feature of Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
Zuckerberg outlined six parts of his new privacy-based platform:
:: Allowing people to interact privately and giving them confidence that no one else can access what they share
:: Encryption that prevents even Facebook from reading messages
:: Making posts and other information easier to delete, with the promise that people can be comfortable being themselves without having to worry about what they share coming back to hurt them later
:: Increasing safety for users
:: The ability to use any Facebook apps and to communicate across networks, something that has been announced previously
:: Secure data storage, with the promise that Facebook will not store sensitive data in countries with weak records on human rights like privacy and freedom of expression in order to protect data from being improperly accessed.
Critics say the moves are not enough to deal with concerns about incidents such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw the sharing of personal information from as many as 87 million users with the political data-mining firm that worked for the 2016 Trump campaign.
Forrester analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo said: He’s kind of pulled together this idea that the thing that matters most to people is privacy between peers and one-to-one communication, ignoring completely the idea that people also value their privacy from Facebook.
Jen King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford Law School’s Centre for Internet and Society said: This does nothing to address the ad-targeting and information collection about individuals.
It’s great for your relationship with other people.
It doesn’t do anything for your relationship with Facebook itself.
(c) Sky News 2019: Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook to shift towards encrypted messaging