Facebook gets a lot of things wrong when it comes to user privacy, but to the company’s credit, it has always fought to protect our data from law enforcement. However, a new treaty between the U.S. and UK could require Facebook and WhatsApp to share users’ encrypted messages with British police.
UK lawmakers have previously pressured Facebook to build in “backdoors” to allow access to user data. (As part of the deal, both countries have agreed not to investigate each other’s citizens.) According to officials, they need this access to investigate serious crimes including terrorism, child pornography and more. However, Facebook has again pushed back against the proposed agreement, saying it could violate user privacy.
“We oppose government attempts to build backdoors because they would undermine the privacy and security of our users everywhere,” Facebook said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Government policies like the Cloud Act allow for companies to provide available information when we receive valid legal requests and do not require companies to build back doors.”
Cases like this illustrate how much of a no-win situation Facebook finds itself in. On one hand, the social media giant wants to protect its users, but on the other, there are serious crimes occurring on the platform that need to be investigated. It’s not an enviable position, but at least Facebook is erring on the side of protecting privacy.
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