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Is it too little, too late for Mark Zuckerberg to promise a “privacy focused” Facebook?

Facebook has become the poster child for data misuse in recent years, from Cambridge Analytica to run-ins with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). CEO Mark Zuckerberg is attempting to change that image, announcing that he wants to make Facebook a “privacy-focused platform.”

Announcing the upcoming method of clearing Facebook history last week, it looks as though Zuckerberg is serious about reforming the social network. If all goes according to his plan, this will include bolstered security for private messages, as well as statuses and photos that aren’t embedded into the platform until the end of time.

“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. This is the future I hope we will help bring about,” Zuckerberg explains.

Facebook plans to utilise the experience gathered from developing WhatsApp, particularly when securing and encrypting its Messenger service. From there, Zuckerberg plans to “build more ways for people to interact on top of that, including calls, video chats, groups, stories, businesses, payments, commerce, and ultimately a platform for many other kinds of private services.”

Zuckerberg seems to finally be on board with users controlling their own data, stating that the social network “won’t keep messages or stories around for longer than necessary to deliver the service or longer than people want them.” He’s also concerned about cultural differences, ensuring that Facebook “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.”

“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. If we can help move the world in this direction, I will be proud of the difference we’ve made,” concluded Zuckerberg.

KitGuru Says: These are all major steps forward for a platform that is debatably too far from redemption. Still, even if Zuckerberg does manage to realise most of these promises, his hands will still be tied by the laws of individual nations. Do you think Facebook can come back from the abyss?

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