With the recent revelations of Facebook’s involvement with the National Security Agency’s controversial PRISM wiretapping technology, many users have expressed concerns about the privacy of their data. However, reports suggest that Facebook is set to implement “forward secrecy,” a decades-old online encryption technique, to protect their users.
Forward secrecy works by encoding web browsing and email information using a series of temporary keys that change for each browsing session. This helps to obscure the trail of browsing history and makes it virtually impossible for hackers (or government spies) to track online activity. Google implemented the technology two years ago, though many other web companies have been slow to follow suit because of performance speed concerns and a lack of public pressure. CNET reports that Facebook is already experimenting with this encryption technique on some of their public servers, and could provide the technology to users soon.
This is undoubtedly a good move for Facebook, who has come under heavy fire during the ongoing NSA scandal. However, as last week’s massive privacy breach illustrated, the biggest security problems that often face Facebook users come from the site itself. It’s wise for Facebook to protect users from external forces, but they also need to plug internal data leaks and bugs.