Zuckerberg Promises Self-Deleting Facebook Messages For More Privacy

Zuckerberg Promises Self-Deleting Facebook Messages For More Privacy

The decisions we'll face along the way will mean taking positions on important issues concerning the future of the internet.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that the public may be skeptical about Facebook's privacy push given the company does not have a "strong reputation for building privacy protective services".

Today was another Big Idea day for Mark, one where our pallid, lab-grown CEO shovels 3,000 words of pure disruption down our collective throats (in the form of a lengthy Facebook post). This is the latter, focused on "vision and principles".

But Zuckerberg wrote that "we've repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want".

This wasn't Zuckerberg's first effort to redeem himself and do damage control for Facebook and its multiplying privacy scandals - and it certainly won't be his last.

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Interoperability: People should be able to communicate across networks easily and securely. End-to-end encryption prevents anyone - including us - from seeing what people share on our services.

The integration of Facebook's various messaging services will obviously allow people to communicate across those platforms, which may introduce greater convenience, but it will also allow Facebook to build more accurate profiles of their users, for ad-targeting purposes. When billions of people use a service to connect, some of them are going to misuse it for truly bad things like child exploitation, terrorism and extortion. So while protecting private conversations is a good thing in and of itself, it doesn't appear that anything else fundamental about Facebook will really be changing.

"Right now FB gets crap (from the same people) for both invading people's privacy and not policing communications enough", Stamos tweeted.

"People should be comfortable being themselves, and should not have to worry about what they share coming back to hurt them later". This philosophy could be extended to all private content. After the past few years of controversies, many lawmakers across the world have suggested Facebook needs to be closely watched. Before Facebook successfully cloned Snapchat's Stories feature, the company was anxious about the decline in "organic" sharing, normal people posting content about their own lives. So we won't keep messages or stories around for longer than necessary to deliver the service or longer than people want them. However, today if you want to message people on Facebook you have to use Messenger, on Instagram you have to use Direct, and on WhatsApp you have to use WhatsApp. 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).

However, I'd like to end on a positive note, as there is one point in Zuckerberg's essay for which he should be unequivocally congratulated: the part about secure data storage, and how Facebook refuses to deploy it in "countries that have a track record of violating human rights like privacy or freedom of expression".

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