Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook is 'innovator in privacy', unwittingly disses Portal

This video was part of Zuckerberg's 2019 resolution to hold discussions about tech and society.

As part of his 2019 resolution to hold discussions about tech and society, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg spoke with Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain. And invited trouble at this discussion when he called Facebook the "innovator in privacy."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg says that ever since Facebook's early days at Harvard, it has developed 'cutting-edge' private communication tools and that the company continues to focus on improving them.

In the video, he says, "When we talk about privacy, I think a lot of the questions are often about privacy policies and legal or policy type things. But I actually think there is another element of this that's really fundamental, which is that people want tools that give them new contexts to communicate and that's also fundamentally about giving people power through privacy, not just not violating privacy."

Alright, we can give that to Facebook that it does offer a bunch of privacy tools, Whatsapp is deep encrypted, and from what Zuckerberg announced earlier this month, this encryption will spread to other platforms like Facebook and Instagram post the planned integration. Users have every right to be sceptical about the entire "innovator of privacy" statement, considering the series of privacy breaches Facebook has been a part of. The most prominent one was the revelation in 2018 that research firm Cambridge Analytica exploited Facebook to gain access to information from more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission.

Facebook doesn't want "camera in everyone's living room". What is Facebook Portal then?

In this conversation on privacy and encryption, Zuckerberg unwittingly conceded the key criticism of Facebook's new video calling device. He said, "I basically think that if you want to talk in metaphors, messaging is like people's living room, and we definitely don't want a society where there's a camera in everyone's living room." Yeah! What does Facebook Portal do again?

And when Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, who hosted the discussion, pointed out that Facebook's Portal is quite literally a camera in people's living rooms. Laughing, Zuckerberg said, "That is I guess… yeah. Although that would be encrypted."

Other things that Zuckerberg and Zittairn talked about were how Facebook is trying to fight fake news, Facebook's business model and how Zuckerberg sees his company’s role in the world, amid calls to break up the company, which some critics say has grown too powerful.

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