June 8th, 2018

Was Facebook careless with the protection of our personal data? This is a question that American Congress and Internet users are trying to find out. After the collection and breach of data, Facebook is accused of having some responsibility in major political upheavals such as the presidential election of Trump and Brexit.

With these charges against Facebook and the questioning of the protection of data on the app, we have to ask, will this affect its users? – Not if Mark Zuckerberg has anything to do with it.

After a #DeleteFacebook campaign and the time spent on the platform already down 50 million hours per day, Facebook is trying to make amends for its data breaches, by releasing a new ad campaign. In an emotive video, the ad recalls the bases of the social network: friends.

“We’re committed to doing more to keep you safe and protect your privacy. So that we can all get back to what made Facebook good in the first place: friends. Because when this place does what it was built for, we all get a little closer.”

Although this video doesn’t hide the fault of the application: spam, fake news and data theft, it is an attempt to be honest and transparent with its community, a community which is gigantic. Used by 2.13 billion people out of a world population of 7 billion, this is an audience, and a responsibility, that I’m sure the platform did not anticipate having to secure and protect back in 2004 when it was founded at Harvard.

The revolt of the digital bounty
A few hours before Zuckerberg’s hearing in Congress, Facebook launched the programme Data Abuse Bounty. The principle: reward Facebook users who report any application that abusively exploits personal data. “Whistleblowers” can be rewarded up to $40,000, a solution that could motivate higher vigilance and in-turn prevent future breaches.

Spare Instagram
With Facebook at the centre of negative attention, it needs to be careful that this does not spread across to any of its other 50 companies, including its other popular social network, Instagram, which it bought on April 9, 2012, for the sum of $1 million. Avoiding further controversy for the brand, the photo and video sharing application brutally limits its data collected by developers.

Google and Apple have also understood the risk, and in a bid not to be caught in the data controversy, they have increased their user privacy and digital wellness, putting distance between themselves and Facebook.

Facebook, dating platform?
Following on from their emotive campaign, and to to avoid the negativity of the Cambridge Analytica case, Facebook is to launch its own dating service.

Taking on Tinder, the simple to use social network will allow users to create a profile and choose what they want to share e.g: photos, a short introductory sentence. The goal of Facebook is not to imitate dating applications like Tinder or Happn with ephemeral relationships, but to build, real, long-term relationships.

The date of launch is not yet known.

Through this scandal, many people felt that Mark Zuckerberg was full of excuses and lacked empathy and credibility, with an apology feeling useless for something that had been going on for years. However, it must also be noted that after noticing the catastrophic turn of events, the group managed to take control of its communication and in order to limit the damage it’s trying to be more honest about its use of data and its privacy policies.

With up and coming new dating features and their honest ad campaign that went back to basics with the basis of Facebook, is it any wonder that Facebook still has more than 2.13 billion active users each month? We look forward to seeing Facebook get back to what it does best, bringing people and friends together, as even when brands evolve, it’s important they never lose sight of their purpose.