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  • Writer's pictureThe DigitalBank Vault

Facebook's Response To Privacy Scandals is A Joke :New Pop-Up Cafés

There are many ways that Facebook could tackle its struggling reputation for user privacy and data protection, and opening up "Privacy Cafés" where users can check their settings and seek expert advice isn't the first one that springs to mind. But that's exactly what the social media giant has decided to do. "At our pop-up cafés," explains Europe VP Steve Hatch, "you can get help and advice on how to change your privacy settings—and all in the time it takes to make a cup of coffee."

Facebook already offers a "Privacy Checkup" by clicking on the "?" on its website. But, as with most social media platforms, users tend to stick with default settings. Those defaults may have changed over the years, with less and less content openly available, shifting from "open by default" to "private by default," but most users could still benefit from doing more. For Facebook, the ever-increasing focus on data privacy represents a significant challenge, given that its business model is built around the mining of user data for commercial returns. And that fundamental challenge has hit from every angle: maintaining messaging encryption, monitoring hate content online, safeguarding children, securing data.

Such has been the backlash, that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has become something of a privacy meme in recent months, finding himself the lightning rod for a succession of data scandals that engulfed the company after Cambridge Analytica came to light. The irony is that even as regulators issue fines and the media harangues the company for data breaches and privacy lapses, the company's huge user base shows no signs of heading for the exit. And that means the messages are mixed. That said, "‘it’s normal to worry about who can see the things you share on social media," explains Hatch, "that’s why we have made customizing your privacy settings on Facebook quick and easy."

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