FacebookZuckerberg pivots towards a new goal: privacy and WhatsApp are the future of Facebook
Change of course and, perhaps, also in the forms. In an extensive text loaded with intention, Mark Zuckerberg has promised this Wednesday to change its business strategy to turn Facebook into a platform “more aware” of privacy, focused on the user and with an eye on services such as WhatsApp.
The future of the company, accused of neglect in the last two years in terms of data protection, now involves introducing encrypted communications between users and pivoting towards a unified platform. The goal, he suggests, is to focus on private message exchanges. A surprising and strange move that comes right on its fifteenth anniversary.
With this volatile intention, more relevant than it seems, the American multinational paves the way for a new territory that places it in clear opposition to the current philosophy, more focused on motivating users to the constant publication of entries, generally open to a large number of people.
In fact, in that classical approach It has adapted the format of “stories”, publications that disappear after 24 hours and have been very well received by its users.
To face this new era, the company’s plan is to encrypt the conversations in all its messaging services and make them, incidentally, compatible. This is the latest sign that the world’s largest social network sees its future in private chats and messages. “We are going to work to implement end-to-end encryption for all private communications, it is the right thing to do,” Zuckerberg writes in a 3,200-word long statement, although he slides that the details may be altered, as the company will consult these measures with experts. during the year.
This new approach may, however, have some obvious consequences, such as less relevance of data protection policies and limiting your ability to generate income through personalized ads. In Zuckerberg’s opinion, these measures come in response to users’ demands for greater control of their data. “People are increasingly interested in connecting with others privately in what would be the digital equivalent of a living room,” he stresses.
“As I think about the future of the internet, I think a privacy-focused communications service will be even more important”
In such a way that as part of this strategy, a Facebook user could communicate directly with WhatsApp contacts. «As I think about the future of the internet, I believe that a communications service focused on privacy It will be even more important than today’s open platforms, ”says Zuckerberg. “An important reflection is needed on all the services that build the web on that basis, from how people make payments and financial transactions to the role of companies and advertising, and how we can offer a platform for other private services”, Add.
Facebook has been able to observe in recent years how private messages, ephemeral posts and activity within small groups are the areas with the highest growth in interactions. “I understand that many people think that Facebook cannot or does not want to build this type of platform focused on privacy because today we do not have a good reputation as builders of privacy services and historically we have focused on sharing tools», Admits.
“It is clear that it could hardly be understood that after Facebook’s acquisition of all these companies (WhatsApp, Instagram), at least some interoperability between their messaging services was not contemplated. Although some Data Control authorities have already warned Facebook about the fact of sharing data between WhatsApp and Facebook in an automated and generalized way, they are looking for the mechanism to achieve this data communication, “he values in statements to this newspaper Sergio Carrasco, lawyer in digital law at Fase Consulting.
“It is clear that it could hardly be understood that after Facebook’s acquisition of all these companies (WhatsApp, Instagram), at least some interoperability between their messaging services was not contemplated”
In the opinion of this expert, compliance with what he has stated “can help the fulfillment of rights”, but believes that “it is necessary to carry out more actions on how advertising companies are given access to data, and how the data is used provided when profiling users, so that we can really understand that their rights are guaranteed.
Lawmakers, users and investors have expressed concern in the past two years that Facebook is not doing enough to protect its users’ data. after a series of scandals and privacy failures. Researchers and security groups have expressed concern about the introduction of security measures similar to the other services because, in this way, they will have more difficult access to the online chat logs to persecute extremist groups.
Regulators in recent months have urged Facebook to increase review of user content, but tighter encryption of communications would make it harder to track toxic posts. In turn, if encrypted conversations are finally introduced it can also have another impact, in this case on your billing: it will limit Facebook’s ability to send targeted ads, its main source of income.