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Facebook is getting a whole lot more privacy focused

Facebook is getting a whole lot more privacy focused

"So we won't keep messages or stories around for longer than necessary to deliver the service or longer than people want them". Sensitive data will only be stored in countries with strong human rights track records.

Zuckerberg notes that private messaging, and messaging in small groups, are the fastest growing areas in online communications today, and Facebook will rebuild features around privacy.

Whether people are willing to give Facebook a chance - or whether they've simply become used to the notions of mistrust and privacy invasions - remains to be seen, but Zuckerberg says it is going to use 2019 to embark on a period of consultation.

And last September, Facebook saw its stock fall 3 percent in a single day after news of a data breach involving 50 million users. "Finally, it would create safety and spam vulnerabilities in an encrypted system to let people send messages from unknown apps where our safety and security systems couldn't see the patterns of activity". End-to-end encryption prevents anyone - including us - from seeing what people share on our services. Zuckerberg outlines a vision for Facebook where content is encrypted and private. "I think it's important for the future of the internet and privacy that our industry continues to hold firm against storing people's data in places where it won't be secure", said Zuckerberg. Because the underlying encryption technology Facebook uses across apps is the same, it should not be fundamentally hard to allow users to chat securely across the site's services, Soltani said. And Facebook's inability to moderate encrypted chats on WhatsApp has led to organised disinformation campaigns ahead of Brazil's presidential election and is said to have helped spread hoaxes that led to lynchings in India.

In the long blog post, Zuckerberg said a privacy-focused platform will be built around several principles.

Privacy-focused platform
Privacy-focused platform

The emphasis of the service is not on private messaging.

So that what people share doesn't "come back to hurt them later", Zuckerberg said the team will move towards reducing permeance messages, similar to how Stories expire after 24 hours.

"Their current business model doesn't work in a private environment", Ina Fried, Axios' chief technology correspondent, told Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal. 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. Interoperability will also enable Facebook to integrate messaging between the Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms. It seems to me that if the only use is to serve you ads more aligned with your interests and conditions (and are not made available to, say, the Russian government so they can play with your head) that is not a bad tradeoff for the wealth of content and applications that otherwise would have to charge you access fees.

So perhaps the least surprising thing about Facebook's purported new path so many years later is that it just sounds like some dude pushing into his 30s: consciously mellowed (or gently jaded) and broadcasting a feigned air of wisdom; seemingly less thirsty for random connections, casual acquaintances, and big crowds; suddenly more inclined to stay home and chill with close friends. Even with messaging metadata, the CEO merely conceded that it "makes sense to limit the amount of time" Facebook stores such metadata.

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