Privacy-focused Facebook?

Every day we see new mistakes in Facebook management. It looks like Mark Zuckerberg understood that Facebook became evil and now he is trying to destroy his own creation. But now it may change: the company will try to create privacy-focused services. What’s wrong with this?

Privacy-focused Facebook?

In his latest announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg embraces privacy and security fundamentals like end-to-end encrypted messaging. Maybe I’m too naive, but I believe that Mark can still return their reputation.

But Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is not so optimistic yet: «This all sounds great, in theory. But secure messaging is not easy to get right at either the technical or policy level. And what about people who use each app for different parts of their life? Аctivists, for example, face huge risks if they can no longer manage separate identities across these platforms». And I totally agree with this!

I like Facebook, but I want it to be private and secure. Today I just can’t trust them: I see every mistake they make and everytime I hope it was the last time. Now it looks like Mark just saw Facebook turn into evil and now he is trying to destroy his own creation.

Facebook wants us to believe that they want to be good guys and care about our privacy, but today Facebook is forcing us into unnecessarily choosing between security and privacy: by default, anyone can use the phone number that you provides for two-factor authentication (2FA) to find your profile.

Anyway, now I’m almost sure that Facebook will be blocked: «People should expect that we won’t 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». Now blocking is imminent…

8 thoughts on “Privacy-focused Facebook?”

  1. I’ll believe change when I see it. CEOs like Zuck will say anything if it seems to shift public perception about them. I suspect even if more inter-personal privacy is introduced there will always be privacy «compromises» so that they can keep selling ads.

    1. In theory, they could forget about targeting and just show thematic ads: for example, Facebook could show advertisement for a new Samsung model on pages and groups about smartphones. As I know, DuckDuckGo uses this kind of ads and it works.

  2. Yes, as commented above, I’ll also believe it when I see it. Facebook has behaved deceitfully on a number of occasions. Do you remember when behind users’ backs, they changed our contact email addresses for a Facebook email address?

    I could go on with much more…

  3. Mark Zuckerberg has a history of treating Facebook useds with contempt. There are records going back to its very inception where he ridicules the useds for unquestioningly handing over such vast swathes of data. Additionally, any form of privacy measure creates a conflict-of-interest for FB. They make their money from selling access to your data. It just doesn’t seem plausible or believable that such a powerful company that is so successful at making money from raping internet users’ digital identities would suddenly decide to stop doing the very thing that makes it a viable company, let alone such a successful one.

    I also don’t believe their «end-to-end» encryption will be meaningful/true end-to-end. The NSA just won’t allow it. Sure, conversations will be encrypted end-to-end on their platforms… but the encryption keys will be known to FB engineers, so they can read any chat they like (man-in-the-middle attack) «to recommend products you might find useful» or «in the interests of national security».

    Regarding ads, I would actually unblock them if more ad-networks used the DuckDuckGo model (this was the commonplace model a few years ago) — but only if said ad-networks also did more to prevent themselves accidentally distributing malware. Right now, it’s a risk I don’t want to take with my devices.

    I wouldn’t call myself a conspiracy-theorist, but given Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s track records and history, I am extremely skeptical about this. A friend of mine has an an analogy he uses in these situations: «You can say anything you like, but if it walks like a duck, floats like a duck, and goes ‘quack’, I throw bread at it!».

  4. There was an excellent article that looks into what Zuck is saying, and notices that he keeps switching between privacy and private. When they mean different things. I’ll try to find the article and link it.

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