Facebook is no stranger to receiving criticism from lawmakers, privacy advocates and the public alike. However, the company may have discovered a unique way to quiet this negativity — by hiring its most prominent critics.
This week, Facebook announced that it has hired three veteran privacy law activists, including Nate Cardozo from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an attorney who has been extremely critical of Facebook’s practices over the past several years. Facebook says that it wants to include differing viewpoints in its privacy decision-making process.
“We think it’s important to bring in new perspectives to the privacy team at Facebook,” Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer, told Ars Technica. “We know that we have a lot of work to do not only to restore people’s trust in Facebook, but also to improve their privacy experiences. We hope that the new hires… will challenge us to build better approaches to privacy in the future.”
Of course, Facebook may just be doing this for good publicity. But other privacy advocates have expressed cautious optimism about the hires. The hope, they say, is that these experts can change Facebook’s culture from the inside. After all, if you can’t beat them, join them.