Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has promised a strengthened privacy-oriented messaging for all its platforms in the nearest future.
He made it known in a blog post during the week, stating that private communications will become more important than public platforms. He observed that ephemeral stories, small groups and private messaging are by far the fastest growing form of online communication.
According to him, Facebook will be able to offer users more confident ways to communicate with each other in a truly private fashion, ensuring that their messages and media won’t stick around for long.
To achieve this feat, Facebook plans to enhance end-to-end encryption on its messaging services, which would protect what people share privately, including Facebook. Zuckerberg likened the idea of being in a living room with the front door closed and not bothering about eavesdropping.
Until the announcement, WhatsApp has already incorporated the security feature, but the other messaging apps (Instagram Direct and Messenger) with over 2 billion users do not.
While public skepticism is rife concerning the new development – what with the platform’s poor records of building strong privacy protective services – Zuckerberg explained that Facebook had repeatedly shown that it can offer the services that users really want.
While the privacy-oriented changes will be more focused on the messaging apps both on Facebook and Instagram, public newsfeed and group services will remain the same.
There are, albeit, drawbacks to this development.
Zuckerberg wrote that while encryption remains a powerful data protection tool, it also shields people on the wrong side of the law.
Law enforcement agencies in times past have noted that increased encryption on social media platforms could hamper their progress in accessing online chat records of extremists and criminals.
Zuckerberg noted that Facebook remains committed to working with security agencies to identify bad actors across its platforms, detecting patterns of their activity without seeing the contents of their messages.
He reiterated that Facebook will not store data in countries known to have weak freedom of expression and privacy rights.
It remains uncertain when the changes will swing into position, as the CEO stated that it will happen over the next few years.