If Facebook wants to trust us, Mark Zuckerberg must resign

Tuesday April 30, Facebook launches its annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, California, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg will take the stage followed by a parade of business executives to talk about what the social media giant has in mind for next year and beyond. Some of it is about today's services like Instagram and WhatsApp. Others will be forward-looking features such as AI-voice assistant that seem to be in the works.

But much of the F8 will probably focus on Facebook's attitude to privacy, with Zuckerberg elaborating on its plan to promote more private communication on Facebook's many platforms. It's a big change that Zuckerberg sounds quite serious about.

If Zuckerberg wants to prove how serious Facebook is about protecting the user's privacy, he should prove it by announcing that he is ending.

Zuckerberg has spoken up privacy a lot lately, starting with a post back in March and continuing through quarterly revenues, calling this week where Facebook's founder said he wants to build a more privacy-focused platform where users can communicate securely with each other.

I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be sure of what they say to each other, stay safe, and their messages and content will not stick to forever, "Zuckerberg wrote in his March post outlining Facebook's strategy. "This is the future I hope we will contribute to."

It's a high goal that Zuckerbeg himself admits will take years to implement, but with Zuckerberg still in the helm of Facebook, it will be hard to believe that the social media company does more than just pay lip service to the idea that it must do a better job of respecting the privacy and personal information of the users.

If Zuckerberg wants to prove how serious Facebook is about protecting user privacy, he should prove it by quitting.

Write "Facebook privacy scandal" in your chosen search engine, and do not be surprised if you are asked to be a bit m Events where Facebook was for cavalier with user data stretch back year, and while the information changes from scandal to scandal, the one constant is the guy who sits in the CEO.

"Unfortunately, every time they seem to take a step In the right direction, we get a new news release," said Fatemeh Khatibloo, a vice president and chief analyst at Forrester Research, when I asked her about Facebook's credibility to protect the user's privacy. "There is only one thing after another that shows that they have never given priority to privacy over the business model."

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Consider the F8 conference from a year ago that began with an extended excuse over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where a data acquisition company got hold of the personal information of 50 million Facebook users. Zuckerberg started his keynote promising changes on Facebook, for example, using artificial intelligence to identify fake accounts, introducing new transparency rules, and trying to keep fake and misleading news from filling out your Facebook feed. Zuckerberg also promised a Clear History feature that allows you to easily delete information about apps and websites that you interact with, such as deleting your browser's history.

"It's not enough to build powerful tools," Zuckerberg said last year, F8. "We need to make sure they're used to good, and we want to"

So what's changed in the last year? Well, the Clear History feature was never launched – it comes later in 2019, Facebook now says – but the company was committed to protecting data in far more narrative ways.

• In May 2018, 14 million Facebook users default setting The setting on all posts has changed to public. Facebook blamed the error on a mistake.

• In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook had approached banks requesting card transactions and checking account balances so that they could target new services to users.

• In September, 30 million accounts were seized by attackers who used a bug in Facebook's "View As" feature to steal access tokens. About half of these accounts had names, phone numbers and / or email addresses opened by the attackers, while another 14 million had further data compromised.

• If you use a two-factor authentication phone number with Facebook, the service confirmed that it uses that number to target ads.

• Having insisted that the new portal's smart screen does not collect your data, admitted Facebook to what you are calling and how to use Portal, can be used for targeted ads. [19659003] • In December, we learned that yet another mistake made app developers see the photos users had uploaded to Facebook, but never published.

• These messages you thought were private on Facebook? Shows that social media giant shared them with partners, according to a New York Times survey.

• At the beginning of 2019, we learned that Facebook had been encouraging game developers to let kids spend money on games without their parents' permission.

• Only this month, Facebook revealed that it stored account passwords for hundreds of millions of Facebook, Facebook Lite and Instagram users in unencrypted plain text on their servers, which would have allowed Facebook employees to take a look . [19659003] • Oh, and two caches of Facebook user data – one with 540 million records – were found on Amazon Cloud servers. That unprotected data had been put there by third party companies in violation of Facebook's rules.

I want to point out: This is a partial list . If we set out to preview everything that has gone wrong for Facebook since last year's F8 conference, we would pack right now for the 2020 version to begin.

In most organizations, many professional slimmers would lead to an innumerable number of head rolls. On Facebook, no one seems to be held account – certainly not someone in the management position of the company. (Facebook's most advanced departures usually seem to involve the founders of companies they've bought as brushes under Facebook's corporate culture.)

Instead, Facebook – who doesn't seem to master the privacy of the services it currently offers – now seems to have earned enough trust to promise that future services will include encrypted messaging and secure data storage. "We all need to communicate privately, and this service can become even more important in our lives," Zuckerberg said at a conference call with Wall Street analysts last Thursday, April 24. "So, I think we should focus our efforts on building this privacy-focused platform."

Expect another excuse a few months later when a word with yet another breach leaks out.

Zuckerberg said these words when reports leaked that Facebook faced a fine of between $ 3 billion and $ 5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission for violating a 2011 agreement of consent (involving breaches of privacy violations, natural). It's like Hannibal Lecter tells you how everyone needs to work with more vegetables in their diet.

Of course, Zuckerberg will not take me on my suggestion, nor is anyone having any influence on the company, which is likely to push the issue of Facebook's repeated privacy policies. Facebook has just completed a first quarter where revenue rose 26 percent to just over $ 15 billion. Both daily active users and monthly active users increased by 8 percent year-on-year in the quarter. If stories like this that hide Facebook over their privacy lapses, someone gets on the company, they cry all the way to the bank.

MORE: Don't use Facebook? Facebook tracks you anyway

(Khatibloo announces too much stock in the daily active user – we do not actually know if it covers someone who is constantly on Facebook or a user who opens the app once on the smartphone and let it go in the background. "It would be more meaningful to know how people get involved on the platform," she told me.]

So when F8 starts on Tuesday, expect a comprehensive if not particularly detailed talk about how this time, Facebook will really get privacy right. Expect developers to be present to applaud. Expect journalists to pick up every one of Zuckerberg's statements.

And expect another excuse a few months later when words of another violation leak.

Credit: Shutterstock

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