After Facebook’s poor track record with user privacy came to light in 2018, the social media giant’s drive to improve its public image in this area continues.
It appears that the social media giant has turned its attentions to its messaging app, Facebook Messenger. According to Business Insider, Facebook Messenger has 1.2 billion users, as of April 2018, with monthly active users increasing by 15% last year.
In April last year, Bloomberg reported that Facebook scans links and images sent between users, raising questions about the privacy of conversations. The company later confirmed this, but said that this was done using an automated tool in order to detect whether links contained malware, and to prevent images of child abuse being shared on the platform.
Further privacy concerns were raised after the announcement that Facebook would be merging its Messenger services with Whatsapp and Instagram.
Today, Facebook announced a new Privacy and Safety Hub, designed to enable users to “learn more about the privacy, safety and security features on Messenger”.
Facebook Messenger’s Privacy and Safety Hub
The new Privacy and Safety Hub is intended to raise awareness of the app’s privacy features, such as Secret Conversations, Facebook Messenger’s end-to-end encrypted messaging services. It also highlights tools such as blocking and reporting.
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The site also provides details on how to protect accounts through login alerts and safer browsing to avoid malware. There are also more details on “removing fake accounts, leveraging artificial intelligence to identify harmful links or images and reducing the spread of misinformation”.
Facebook has also said that the Privacy and Safety hub will include white-papers on “under-the-hood looks at how some of these features work”.
Last week, a number of publications reported that the company was testing the introduction of end-to-end encryption to audio and video calls made through Messenger.
Today, Facebook is due to announce plans to expand the rollout of end-to-end encryption across its messenger platform. However, some have criticised the move as protecting criminals from being detected.