Facebook’s Supposed Pivot To Being More Private Is Meaningless….. And That Means That You Should #DeleteFacebook ASAP

Facebook had a bunch of announcements at their F8 Developer’s Conference yesterday. The video is online if you want to watch it. Go ahead. I recommend that you watch. I’ll wait while you do.

Okay. That was fun wasn’t it. Now back to my commentary.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg kicked off the F8 keynote by saying this:

Now look, I get that a lot of people aren’t sure that we’re serious about this. I know that we don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly. But I’m committed to doing this well.

The thing is that people snickered and laughed when said that. And this was a friendly crowd that he was speaking to which made this moment a total #fail. He then went on to say this:

The future is private.

Of course it is. Except that he’s never believed that. More on that in a second. But he then spoke about many of the changes to Facebook products that would make them more privacy focused. For example, the integration of WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram messages into a single product with end-to-end encryption. That sounds cool, but by his own admission that’s years away. And he discussed having the various bits and pieces of Facebook and Facebook owned products be a secure payments platform. That from where I stand would allow Facebook to shift away from making money from advertising.

Now that all sounds interesting. But here’s my main problem with all of this. Seeing as their business model is selling their user’s data, I’m not sure how they are going to do this. This honestly sounds more like Zuckerberg trying to get people not to look behind the metaphorical curtain at the fact that they have no interest in respecting user privacy.

Second, when Zuckerberg says “private”, he’s talking about privacy between users and groups of users. An example of this is the integration WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram messages into a single product with end-to-end encryption.There’s no mention of Facebook respecting user privacy by not collecting and selling user info. And that’s the really big problem here. Facebook at the moment has governments around the planet lining up to slap it silly because of everything the poor handling of data to Cambridge Analytica. Yet when you watch this video, it seems like he’s asking the Facebook faithful to keep the faith and ignore all their problems.

Let’s face it, Zuckerberg is desperately trying to keep the money rolling in and the authorities at bay. And if he really wanted to make a significant change in direction, he’d say that he was sorry, describe how things would change in Facebook world, and execute that change quickly and in public. Except that if you watch his keynote video, he didn’t do that. That makes any mention of Facebook being more private meaningless. And it still means that you need to join team #DeleteFacebook if you value your privacy.

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