And for good reason.
This organization started because of the Facebook Real Names Policy in early 2013 and to this day we harp on Facebook’s refusal to protect LGBTQ+ people by providing alias names, securing data and information better, not catering to peoples’ privacy, and generally sucking at community anonymity when we ask them to.
But something changed recently in Mark Zuckerberg’s little scrooge heart (possibly robotic?).
A week ago Zuckerberg published a near 3,200-word blog about a shift from public information social networks to private networks. And that’s VERY good for all of you.
In this blog, Zuckerberg admitted to the security problems with his platform and announced he will be pivoting to a security-based social platform that we feel holds a lot of promise for your safety, security, and anonymity on the web.
So in this blog, we’re going to go over his letter to let you know what may or may not be “troubling”.
A quick summary of his Blog
Zuckerberg starts out by suggesting a few ideas about what the future of the internet will entail and we are VERY proud of him here. He is championing from here on out:
- Private interactions between people without any “eyes” on your conversation,
- Encrypted Data so no “eyes” are watching the mail process in the first place,
- Temporary & Secure Data Storage so they’re not holding info longer than needed,
- Safety for everyone involved as they interact on the platform and,
- Platform Inter-operability that rolls these changes out to every platform they own.
We’ve super-cut all the parts that are important to you in a way that makes sense*:
(also check the P.S for more below!)
“I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today's open platforms. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks. [...] But people should be comfortable being themselves, and should not have to worry about what they share coming back to hurt them later. ” [...] Now, with all the ways people also want to interact privately, there's also an opportunity to build a simpler platform that's focused on privacy first.
[...] Frankly, we [Facebook] don’t currently have a strong reputation for building protective privacy services, and we've historically focused on tools for more open sharing. [...] There is also a growing concern among some that technology may be centralizing power in the hands of governments and companies like ours.
[...] But in WhatsApp, for example, our team is obsessed with creating an intimate environment in every aspect of the product. [...] I believe we should be working towards a world where people can speak privately and live freely knowing that their information will only be seen by who they want to see it and won't all stick around forever."
~ Mark Zuckerberg; Wed. March 6th
So can we trust him?
Right now, according to the Online Data Privacy survey, a whopping 83% of Americans believe that too much of their personal information is being made public without their consent and virtually all of them are worried about that information being stolen or abused.
So in my opinion...
It’s too soon to tell when these features will be rolled out, if they’ll be useful, and whether they are going to be made in your interest. Plenty of politicians submit well-meaning population focused bills to Congress that turn into money-grubbing industry-focused laws and that’s no different for technology.
So we suggest
Samantha V Logan
Samantha is the Executive Director of RESCQU.NET as well as a full-stack digital marketer. She struggles with both of these roles as her primary job asks her to collect as much information as the internet will allow, while she also actively fights that surveillance marketing for you here at RESCQU.NET.
*P.S: We C/P'd some interesting quotes from his blog below:
As the internet currently stands:
- People are more cautious of having a permanent record of what they've shared.
- People expect their private communications to be secure and to only be seen by the people they've sent them to -- not hackers, criminals, over-reaching governments, or even the people operating the services they're using.
- There is also a growing concern among some that technology may be centralizing power in the hands of governments and companies like ours.
- In the last year, I've spoken with dissidents [people who object to the current state of the world] who've told me encryption is the reason they are free, or even alive. [<--US]
- Lots of people selling items on Marketplace list their phone number so people can message them about buying it. That's not ideal, because you're giving strangers your phone number.
- Many people who have been on Facebook for a long time have photos from when they were younger that could be embarrassing. But people also really love keeping a record of their lives. And if all posts on Facebook and Instagram disappeared, people would lose access to a lot of valuable knowledge and experiences others have shared.
- In this note, I'll outline our vision and principles around building a privacy-focused messaging and social networking platform. There's a lot to do here, and we're committed to working openly and consulting with experts across society as we develop this.
- Frankly we [facebook] don't currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services, and we've historically focused on tools for more open sharing.
- I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today's open platforms. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.
- But now, with all the ways people also want to interact privately, there's also an opportunity to build a simpler platform that's focused on privacy first.
- People should be comfortable being themselves, and should not have to worry about what they share coming back to hurt them later.
- But these initial questions are critical to get right. If we do this well, we can create platforms for private sharing that could be even more important to people than the platforms we've already built to help people share and connect more openly.
- I believe we should be working towards a world where people can speak privately and live freely knowing that their information will only be seen by who they want to see it and won't all stick around forever.
- we're not going to develop this major change in our direction behind closed doors.
- We'll also need to work together with other platforms to make sure that as an industry we get this right. The more we can create a common approach, the better.
- 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,
- So we won't keep messages or stories around for longer than necessary to deliver the service or longer than people want them.
- As your friends evolve over time, messaging services evolve gracefully and remain intimate.
- This sense of privacy and intimacy is not just about technical features -- it is designed deeply into the feel of the service overall. In WhatsApp, for example, our team is obsessed with creating an intimate environment in every aspect of the product.
- We then plan to add more ways to interact privately with your friends, groups, and businesses.
- It's also why we built end-to-end encryption into WhatsApp after we acquired it.
- We are working to improve our ability to identify and stop bad actors across our apps by detecting patterns of activity or through other means, even when we can't see the content of the messages, and we will continue to invest in this work.
- It also makes sense to limit the amount of time we store messaging metadata. We use this data to run our spam and safety systems, but we don't always need to keep it around for a long time. An important part of the solution is to collect less personal data in the first place, which is the way WhatsApp was built from the outset.
- We can give people more choice to use their preferred service to securely reach the people they want.
- we've chosen not to build data centers in countries that have a track record of violating human rights like privacy or freedom of expression. Upholding this principle may mean that our services will get blocked in some countries, or that we won't be able to enter others anytime soon. That's a tradeoff we're willing to make.
- Of course, the best way to protect the most sensitive data is not to store it at all, which is why WhatsApp doesn't store any encryption keys and we plan to do the same with our other services going forward.