Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday posted a 3,000 word note outlining a more “privacy-focused” future for the tech company, saying that communications platforms that protect privacy will “become even more important than today’s open platforms.”
“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever,” Zuckerberg said on his Facebook post. “This is the future I hope we will help bring about.”
Zuckerberg’s solution to this problem, apparently, is to build a communication chimera that connects WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. Or, as he called it, “a simpler platform that’s focused on privacy first.” The service roll-up has been rumored for a while now, which makes the main news the company’s admittedly smart spin on the scheme.
Facebook has been paying a high price—both in consumer trust and plummeting U.S. users—for its myriad failures, from Cambridge Analytica to its own data breaches. “We don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services,” Zuckerberg wrote today in what may be the single greatest understatement of his lifetime.
From his post:
Permanence. People should be comfortable being themselves, and should not have to worry about what they share coming back to hurt them later. So we won’t keep messages or stories around for longer than necessary to deliver the service or longer than people want it.
Safety. People should expect that we will do everything we can to keep them safe on our services within the limits of what’s possible in an encrypted service.
Interoperability. People should be able to use any of our apps to reach their friends, and they should be able to communicate across networks easily and securely.
Secure data storage. People should expect that we won’t store sensitive data in countries with weak records on human rights like privacy and freedom of expression in order to protect data from being improperly accessed.