Facebook + Privacy = LOL

Wired noticed the same thing I did about Facebook’s big announcement it was going all in on privacy as a feature.

Zuckerberg listed six privacy principles, but there was one glaring omission: He said nothing about how Facebook plans to approach data sharing and ad targeting in this privacy-focused future.


Uh… yeah. This has happened every time something disastrous occurs with Facebook and the way they use people’s information (usually to make money, because America) — they add features or clarify a bunch of existing features designed to keep other Facebook users from seeing the stuff you post.

But the problem isn’t keeping your data away from Facebook users. It’s keeping it away from Facebook, or more importantly, away from the functions at Facebook responsible for turning things Facebook has into money. In other words, it’s a business model problem. Apple can say “hold on, if we do not try to make money off this data, it will allow us to make more money off hardware”. Facebook has nothing like that, and has shown neither the willingness or capability to develop it.

Until that happens, Facebook is going to get more and more aggressive about using your data to make money no matter what their CEO or anyone else says (except maybe, someday, the government), because they are a growth-oriented, publicly traded company in the post-Milton-Friedman world of MAXIMIZING SHAREHOLDER VALUE(tm). They don’t have any other cards to play.