One month ago, Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage of Facebook’s F8 developer conference to tell the world that he was committed to turning the company around and making it more privacy-focused.
The audience don’t seem to find him quite as funny as he hoped.
Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when I read that Facebook’s legal team have been actually arguing – in response to a class action regarding the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal – that users of social media should have “no expectation of privacy”.
As Law360 reports:
In response to a class action claiming the Cambridge Analytica breach violated users’ privacy rights, Facebook is arguing that there is “no expectation of privacy” on Facebook. “There is no invasion of privacy at all, because there is no privacy.”
Facebook didn’t deny that users’ data was exposed to third parties. Instead, it focused on trying to convince Judge Chhabria that there is “no expectation of privacy” on Facebook or any other social media platform.
“You have to closely guard something to have a reasonable expectation of privacy,” argued Facebook counsel Orin Snyder of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, who added that Facebook and social media in general are premised on rendering one’s views non-private.
“It’s the opposite of private,” Snyder said.
Judge Chhabria, who said he was not on Facebook, pressed Facebook on that assertion. The judge said it appears to contradict Facebook’s and its executives’ own claims that they are working to protect users’ privacy and data.
But Snyder said users consented to the sharing of their information. “There is no invasion of privacy at all, because there is no privacy,” he argued.
So, next time someone connected to Facebook tries to convince you that it’s now really serious about privacy you know they’re pulling your leg.
If you’re thinking of leaving Facebook, why not listen to this “Smashing Security” podcast we recorded:
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