As a social network, Facebook is inherently at odds with private, secure communications – its business model is built on harvesting people’s information. And it’s not just that Facebook’s business model is built around what are effectively privacy violations: recent articles have revealed that Facebook lacks transparency and accountability towards its users. In short, this is a company that should not be producing private, secure communications.
When Mark Zuckerberg announced at the beginning of the month that Facebook will shift its focus to privacy-focused communications, the announcement was rightly met with skepticism. Facebook’s business model, after all, is built around targeting advertisements to users based on their information. Compound this with the various privacy scandals that have plagued Facebook in the last few years—from Cambridge Analytica misusing up to 50 million users’ data to massive data breaches—and the company’s decision to shift its focus to privacy seems positively disingenuous.
Facebook has been in the news lately, causing its stock value to fluctuate since the 3/16 announcement that it was suspending Cambridge Analytica due to unauthorized access and use of Facebook’s user data. The news and hearing are all about privacy. What privacy rights do we really have when we put our data out there?