Facebook’s relationship with privacy? It’s complicated, although critics of the company (like Tim Cook, who’s just been rebranded by Donald Trump as ‘Tim Apple’) might use a few other words. Yet after a bruising period of controversies surrounding privacy and user-data on its platform, Facebook appears to be pulling something of a pivot.
“As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms,” wrote CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday. “Today we already see that private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication.”
But the note of self-awareness in the Facebook boss’ post is notable. “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, and we’ve historically focused on tools for more open sharing. But we’ve repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want, including in private messaging and stories.”
The full post goes in to more detail on his plans (and, if you want some good context, this Twitter thread from Stanford’s Alex Stamos is also worth a read).