Perhaps no website in the history of the Internet has faced more criticism for its privacy practices than Facebook. With well over one billion users and all of the personal data that comes with it, perhaps that’s no surprise — though as The Daily Dot pointed out in an interview with Facebook’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan, the site’s privacy reputation has improved dramatically in recent years.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation releases a report every year grading tech companies on user privacy. When Egan joined Facebook in 2011, the social media giant only scored one star out of four. Last year, the site earned three stars, largely because of the privacy tools and choices that the site now offers users. So while it was an eyebrow-raising statement when Egan told The Daily Dot that Facebook is actually a “privacy-enhancing platform,” that’s the context in which gave the comment.
“On Facebook, people decide whether or not they want to decide to share information… We’ve worked very hard over the years on these sharing controls to educate people on them,” she said. “Privacy, safety, trust are all core to our service. We’re not going to be successful unless people trust our service and trust our community.”
There’s no doubt that Facebook is far from perfect when it comes to user privacy, and while it might be a stretch to say it “enhances” our privacy, it’s certainly more effective than it used to be.