Can sharing be private? (The Hindu)
Mains Paper 3: Internal Security
Prelims level: Social Media
Mains level: Security loopholes associated with social media
- Facebook has been facing flak for privacy violations.
- The most notorious of these was the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Under relentless pressure from regulators to tighten its privacy safeguards,
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a post last week, appears to have made a
180-degree shift in what Facebook has stood for all along: from sharing and
openness, to privacy and encryption.
- In a 3,200-word post on Facebook, Mr. Zuckerberg unveiled what he
calls “a privacy-focused vision for social networking”.
- Facebook is a company whose very business model is built on
encouraging, coaxing, and manipulating people to share more and more of
their private lives.
- So understandably, its founder’s latest posture on privacy has
struck many as little more than posturing.
Major outlines highlighted by Mr. Zuckerberg
- All social media activity would be end-to-end encrypted, as
WhatsApp currently is, across Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.
- The users could post ‘ephemeral’ messages that would all get
automatically get deleted unless they specified otherwise.
- An interoperability, which would enable users to seamlessly send
and receive messages across WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram or SMS, would be
possible owing to a unification of the technological back-end of all these
platforms. Many fear that this might open the gateway for massive data
mining and be a way to duck anti-trust legislation.
- Facebook will not store data in countries that have a questionable
record in protecting human rights such as privacy and free speech. This is
to protect users’ privacy by ensuring that data is not “improperly
- As per Mr. Zuckerberg’s analogy, it also signals a shift in
Facebook Inc’s centre of gravity from the social network imagined as a town
square (Facebook), where you are sharing something with all or most of your
friends, to the social network imagined as your living room (such as a small
WhatsApp or Messenger group), where a more intimate and more private sharing
can take place.
- Mr. Zuckerberg’s answer suggests that the ‘pivot to privacy’ would
itself be based on a pivot towards “payments, commerce, and ultimately a
platform for many other kinds of private services.” He hasn’t offered a time
frame for effecting this transition.
- Facebook’s long history of sacrificing privacy at the altar of
Mammon, many remain sceptical.
- Mr. Zuckerberg emphasized that , “Facebook is changing. From now
on, sharing is private. War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is
Q.1) Which of the following is/are correct with reference to the
1. It is established for municipal administration for civilian population in
the cantonment area.
2. It works under the administrative control of the Union Ministry of Home
3. It consists of partly elected and partly nominated members.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Q.1) Facebook’s ‘pivot to privacy’ plan signals a shift in its centre of
gravity. What happens to Facebook’s ad-based business model in such a scenario?