Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, discussed these subjects at the technology company’s F8 conference for developers in San Jose, California.
“The future is private,” he said, as reported by NBC News. “We should have private messaging, groups, payments, and private ways to share location – the private parts of our social network.”
Such a pronouncement follows on from several privacy scandals for Facebook, including the discovery that Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct research firm, harvested data from millions of the social network’s users.
A security glitch also let hackers see the personal information of 14m people, Facebook reported last year, and another lapse could have exposed unpublished photos to app developers.
Zuckerberg acknowledged the challenge Facebook will have in the privacy arena during his F8 presentation. “I get that a lot of people aren’t sure that we’re serious about this.
“I get that we don’t have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly … But I’m committed to doing this well, and to starting a new chapter for our products.”
One of the innovations announced by Facebook at F8 was placing more emphasis on events and groups, an update that reflects its attempts encourage meaningful interactions.
This refreshed user experience will first be made available for mobile devices powered by Apple’s iOS and Google Android operating systems, with a redesign on desktop then arriving in the next few months.
Another new feature is “Meet New Friends”, a tool that will help users connect with strangers that have a shared interest or other relevant connection, such as being employed by the same company or being enrolled at the same school.
Whenever the company builds products or makes such strategic decisions from hereon, Zuckerberg told the F8 assembly, privacy will occupy a central role.
“A few years ago we would probably just have rolled this out,” he admitted, as noted by Axios, to the F8 assembly. But the organisation’s new approach is deliberately more thoughtful.
“This isn’t just about building new products. It’s a major shift in how we run this company,” said Zuckerberg, per The Verge. “We believe that for the future, people want a privacy-focused social platform.”
Sourced from NBC News, Axios, The Verge; additional content by WARC staff