NEWS7 March 2019

Zuckerberg outlines plans to shift towards ‘privacy-focused’ Facebook

Data analytics News North America Privacy Technology

US – Facebook has outlined a new set of principles it claims will help it develop “a privacy-focused messaging and social networking platform”.

Following a year of controversy surrounding its data collection and privacy practices, the company says is now looking to build a “simpler platform that’s focused on privacy first”.

According to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, the move is in response to people increasingly wanting to communicate with each other privately rather than in public.

In a blog post, Zuckerberg admitted: “I understand that many people don't think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform – because frankly we don't currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services.”

In future, communication will shift to “private, encrypted services” where messages “won’t stick around forever”, according to Zuckerberg, who expects future versions of Messenger and WhatsApp to become the main ways people communicate on the company’s network.

He said: “We plan to … 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, including calls, video chats, groups, stories, businesses, payments, commerce, and ultimately a platform for many other kinds of private services.”

The company says it will rebuild some of its services based on new principles including secure data storage, private interactions and encryption. Zuckerberg did not give a timeline but said this change would take place “over the next few years”.

Zuckerberg said: “We understand there are a lot of tradeoffs to get right. This will take some time, but we're not going to develop this major change in our direction behind closed doors. We're going to do this as openly and collaboratively as we can because many of these issues affect different parts of society.”

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