In “A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking,” a 3,200-word essay that Zuckerberg posted to Facebook on March 6, he says he wants to “build a simpler platform that’s focused on privacy first.” In apparent surprise, he writes: “People increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room.”
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that Facebook would commit to building a new “privacy-focused platform” that would serve as a model for future interactions on the social network.
However, Facebook is lying. Should that be a thing on Twitter? ( #FacebookIsLying )
Facebook doesn’t care about your privacy—more on that in a minute—but they do care about shareholders & money and in that department the trend is unfavorable. The 90-day people are worried.
Facebook has lost 15 million subscribers in the last two years. While that is bad, the underlying demographic information is horrible for them because overwhelmingly, the younger generation is tuning out. Most don’t even have Facebook accounts.
In 2017, 67 percent of the total US population over the age of 12 used Facebook, the data says. In 2018, that number dropped to 62 percent, and then it dropped again, to 61 percent, in 2019. That comes out to an estimated 172 million current users, according to Edison Research.
The drop-off has been higher among younger users. In 2017, 79 percent of Americans between the ages of 12 and 34 used Facebook, the data says. That number decreased to 67 percent in 2018 and 62 percent in 2019. That equates to around 82 million 12- to 34-year-old Facebook users in 2017, compared with 65 million users today.
Meanwhile, among users aged 55 and up, Facebook use increased from 49 percent in 2017 and 2018 to 53 percent in 2019.
Facebook is marching out Mark Zuckerberg to calm the masses and stem the bleeding. His talk of privacy is as much directed to the shareholders as to his user base. Sadly, what Facebook says publicly has never been the truth in this regard—a fact we have documented previously.
Today, more evidence has come forward to disprove the notion that Facebook cares about your privacy. The fact is they only care how to monetize your information.
According to a report published by Privacy International, major apps on Android are sending your personal data to Facebook. Worse, these apps do not require your permission for your valuable data to make it to the Facebook datacentre.
The report exposed seven Android apps that are caught up in the mess. Here, we are talking apps with millions and millions of install. The apps include Duolingo, Yelp, Indeed, Qibla Connect, King James Bible app, Muslim Pro.
Don’t have a Facebook account? Doesn’t make any difference though. The report also revealed that users who don’t even have a Facebook account are also under Facebook’s surveillance. That’s right, these apps are sending your data to Facebook even though you are not a Facebook user.
Zuckerberg describes Facebook as a town square. It isn’t. Facebook is a company that brought in more than $55 billion in advertising revenue last year, with a 45% profit margin. This makes it one of the most profitable business ventures in human history. It must be understood as such.
Facebook has minted money because it has figured out how to commoditize privacy on a scale never before seen. A diminishment of privacy is its core product. Zuckerberg has made his money by performing a sort of arbitrage between how much privacy Facebook’s 2 billion users think they are giving up and how much he has been able to sell to advertisers. He says nothing of substance in his long essay about how he intends to keep his firm profitable in this supposed new era. That’s one reason to treat his Damascene moment with healthy skepticism.
“Frankly we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services,” Zuckerberg writes. But Facebook’s reputation is not the salient question: its business model is. If Facebook were to implement strong privacy protections across the board, it would have little left to sell to advertisers aside from the sheer size of its audience. Facebook might still make a lot of money, but they’d make a lot less of it.
Facebook says they want to fight “fake news” but sadly the most fake news out there is the claim that they care about your privacy.
When it comes to tech companies, will Donald Trump be the Trust Buster that Teddy Roosevelt was a hundred odd years ago? If it turns out that way, I think “Big Tech”will have Mark Zuckerberg to thank.