Mark Zuckerberg Answers Tough Questions Related to Facebook's Privacy Scandals in An Internal Meeting

In the first week of January, WhatsApp users received a pop notification on the app notifying them about a new policy. The policy said that the WhatsApp data of the users will now be shared with the Parent company that is Facebook. This created a havoc among the users, and they started feeling a breach in privacy and many switched to other competitive messaging apps like Signal. Signal jumped from 20 million to 40 million users in a month.

To answer this and other questions that have been recently arising related to Facebook’s other privacy scandals, Mark Zuckerberg came forward in a company-wise weekly Question and Answer sessions that is quite internal but whose audio was obtained by Big Technology.

In the meeting, one employee raised a question that the Facebook’s brand has become toxic for its users and what efforts will the company take to improve the brand. The questions were followed by why is Facebook stuck in an endless loop of scandals.

On which Zuckerberg first addressed the issue related to the Whatsapp Privacy. He said that they understand that the general public is quite sensitive about their data and do not like how their data is connected between two different socials. The havoc stirred up after the notification that Facebook was building a tool for businesses to host their chats with them. People got genuinely curious and interested in the new update and the employees said the public was angry at Facebook because it promised that their WhatsApp data would not be shared with the said company, however failed to do so, followed by questions like why and how the data will be used by Facebook. Zuckerberg said that if the public is worried about if the Facebook headquarters can read their messages then the answer is no because the chats are end to end encrypted. However, the advertisers can use Whatsapp numbers of those who interact with them to build a larger audience on Facebook. Whether or not this was safe practice was not mentioned. The main question of the employee was not actually related to WhatsApp but people’s uneasiness with Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, said that when people find something negative about Facebook’s associated brand they directly blame it towards the main Facebook Brand but if they find something good and positive, it is somehow associated with the satellite brands like WhatsApp or Instagram which is not fair because all of that also comes under Facebook. Facebook is working towards making all the main as well as the satellite apps according to user preference and also is linking all the satellites app with a “by Facebook” message. The two focus of the talk on this topic were that the company’s main brand that is Facebook can be raised up by other satellites apps while the other argument notified that the main app can only benefit when people use it. The CEO and Owner on this said that like when in the initial days of Covid people switched towards Facebook and the company benefitted a lot. However, the main question that why is Facebook stuck in a cycle of privacy issues and what will it do to overcome it was totally sidelined.

The employees however know that the real reason Facebook is facing reputational issues is because of the ad system. Facebook shares user data to link people up with ads and brands of their preference. People are tired of their data being used and are looking for alternatives. However, they come back to the original choice of use after a few days and WhatsApp gaining back its users just after a few days of the new privacy notification going around says a lot about it.

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage / REUTERS

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