The day after Facebook’s stock price tumbled 20% – with Mark Zuckerberg himself seeing his private wealth diminish by nearly $16 billion in 24 hours – the company’s Director of Product Management David Baser has come out with a defiant statement against the entire tech industry.
“Even if we’re all taking steps to shore up our privacy protections, we won’t find the answers in a silo. Companies are connected and our technology ecosystem can’t be reversed. So we need to work together on standards and best practices to make data portability a reality while also prioritizing people’s privacy and security,” Baser said in a blog post.
Last week, tech giants Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Twitter announced that they would be joining the Data Transfer Project. According to The Economic Times, Data Transfer Project will help users of one service to use their data to sign up for another service with encryption. The initiative is still in the early phases.
The main reason behind Facebook’s loss of $119 billion yesterday was their second quarter results that were far lower than most analysts predicted. Additionally, the company claimed that there would not be a revival in the next two quarters. This financial disaster can be traced back to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that has rocked the social media firm in the last two years.
A lot of critics have claimed that the only way for Facebook to combat such global misuse of personal data is to shut down any and all access to individuals’ information. However, the company claims that such a move would make the entire website pointless, and thus not make any sense from a economic or social standpoint.
In his blog post, baser addresses this as well. “Bad actors can gather information from people and use it in ways that they aren’t aware of and didn’t agree too, like selling personal data to marketers. Facebook has clear policies against this, but as we saw with the Cambridge Analytica situation, bad actors are more than willing to ignore these policies in pursuit of their own objectives.”
However, despite all these doom-and-gloom statements, Facebook still managed to report 2.23 billion monthly active users – or, over a quarter of the world’s population. This is an increase of 11% over the same time in 2017, the company’s slowest growth in two years. Essentially, it was not as high an increase as was expected.
Header image courtesy: Thought Catalog