A lot of digital ink has been spilled over Facebook’s most recent woe, that of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that saw millions of users’ info being siphoned off for various uses – uses that the owners of that information did not agree to. This was followed by other data-related controversies. It’s been clear for some time that Facebook has to change, something that founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted.
In a recent interview with Wired prior to the company’s F8 conference, Zuckerberg outlined some of the steps that Facebook would have to take in order to “fix” the platform: the first of these a new tool that would allow users to purge the information Facebook has gathered about their online presence, including information about web pages browsing — a process likened to clearing the cookies on your web browser.
More extensive app reviews and taking steps to make sure that folks don’t wind up abusing the tools that Facebook provides for various functions are also on the cards, a process that will take some time.
This tools and changes will take up to three years to execute, according to Facebook’s founder. Zuckerberg said, “I think this is about a three-year transition to really build up the teams, because you can’t just hire thirty thousand people overnight to go do something. You have to make sure that they’re executing well and bring in the leadership and train them. And building up AI tools—that’s not something that you could just snap your fingers on either.”
But Facebook has a head start, since the company apparently began this process last year — meaning that we could see a new look to Facebook by 2020. Whether it amounts to a more privacy-minded social network remains to be seen.
Zuckerberg’s timeline, if you’re the sort of person concerned about privacy, is still too far in the future. Facebook’s proposed solutions thus far also don’t address the privacy of those who don’t use the social network at all, those who nonetheless have a ‘shadow profile’ of their online presence stored by Facebook’s servers. Gaining access to Zuckerberg’s proposed purging tool requires that you’re a part of their ecosystem — meaning that you’d have to give Facebook more of your information in order to limit what they’re collecting about you, as things stand.
Whatever changes are actually coming down the road are still some way in the future. In the meantime, how about some Facebook-backed Dating or a round in the Oculus Go. Anyone?