Mark Zuckerberg's encryption plans may help Facebook save face

Ann Santiago
March 10, 2019

The company will focus on private and encrypted communications, where users can message smaller groups of friends, according to a New York Times analysis of the news. Zuckerberg further wrote, "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".

Facebook will also bring self-deleting messages so that users can set messages to auto-delete or archive in a minute, a month or a year (just like the features available on Signal or Telegram app).

The integration plans, which were first reported in late January, and which haven't yet been officially acknowledged by the company, are controversial because they would tighten Facebook's control over the services' previously independent operations, raising questions around security, competition and data protection.

What's interesting is that he is also admitting that end-to-end encryption can also lead to misuse and there is a big responsibility from their side to prevent such cases as much as possible.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday that the Silicon Valley company will begin completely reorienting its platform over the next several years, moving toward encryption and privacy.

The tone of some critics is that Facebook users for the most part stay on the platform in spite of knowing how their privacy has been abused, and the move towards privacy is nothing but lip service. The Facebook messaging service Messenger has more than 1.3 billion users around the globe. "Of course, the best way to protect the most sensitive data is not to store it at all, which is why WhatsApp doesn't store any encryption keys and we plan to do the same with our other services going forward". "People expect their private communications to be secure and to only be seen by the people they've sent them to - not hackers, criminals, over-reaching governments, or even the people operating the services they're using", Zuckerberg wrote.

Mr Zuckerberg said that even though he would focus on private and secure conversations, the public forums for communication popularised by Facebook would continue.

Android Apps That Tracks Your Data And Send It To Facebook
Image Source Naked Security – Sophos

The emphasis of the service is not on private messaging.

The digital currency will nearly certainly be used on the Facebook-owned WhatsApp messaging platform and stands to be juxtapositioned against the model of decentralized digital currencies, Bitcoin (BTC).

Like a reformed smoker or a born again evangelist, Zuckerberg has discovered the importance of privacy - hallelujah! - and all it took was a couple of years of scandal and the threat of predatory regulators circling like sharks in the ocean.

Zuckerberg uses his F8 conference keynote in September to outline a vision in which data about our lives flows into Facebook, and is stored indefinitely, without our ongoing involvement. 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. Currently, they can target their advertising based on what people share openly.

Zuckerberg said it is becoming more important "to keep information around for shorter periods of time" because "people want to know that what they share won't come back to hurt them later".

Former Federal Trade Commission chief technologist Ashkan Soltani said that by integrating its messaging services' back-end platforms Facebook could, for instance, avoid the effects of legislation aimed at limiting the way data is shared across separate services.


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