Can Facebook Become Synonymous With Privacy?

Albeit in general terms, Mark Zuckerberg just unveiled an ambitious plan to redefine private, encrypted messaging platforms.

Potentially still years away, the new offering will “focus on the most fundamental and private use case -- messaging -- make it as secure as possible, and then build more ways for people to interact on top of that,” Facebook’s cofounder-CEO explained in a new post.

Additional features will include calls, video chats, groups, stories, businesses, payments, commerce and “ultimately a platform for many other kinds of private services,” according to Zuckerberg.



The post confirms a recent story in The New York Times, which reported that Facebook was integrating the infrastructures of Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp in order to enable end-to-end encryption across its network of properties.

Along with privacy, encryption, ephemerality and secure data storage, Zuckerberg stressed the importance of “interoperability.”

“People should be able to use any of our apps to reach their friends, and they should be able to communicate across networks easily and securely,” he said.

Among other challenges, Zuckerberg admits that privacy isn’t a word many consumers associate with Facebook. “Frankly, we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services,” he admitted.

That’s putting it mildly.

Among a slew of other scandals, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just called for investigations into Facebook’s “invasion of consumer privacy,” while two Senate Democrats recently asked the FTC to review claims the company manipulated minors into using their parents’ credit cards to make videogame purchases.

Yet, Zuckerberg doesn’t seem fazed.

“We’ve repeatedly shown we can evolve to build the services people really want,” he said on Wednesday.

Regardless, Zuckerberg has no choice but to push into private platforms, because, as he sees, they represent the future of digital communication.

“The future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won't stick around forever,” he said. “This is the future I hope we will help bring about.”
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