Facebook F8: After Cambridge Analytica, privacy, and WhatsApp, this is Zuckerberg's most important event yet

Among its biggest loss this year, although it was in the making over the past few years, has been Facebook's handling of private and personal user data.


A lot’s happened with Facebook this year. And we’re not even half way yet. The poster boy of start-up success, Mark Zuckerberg has been through a roller coaster this year. At the center of all the controversy was one essential human aspiration – security, and privacy. The Cambridge Analytica scandal as it was popularly termed had managed to dent Facebook’s image in precisely that one critical area, of safeguarding its user’s privacy.

Safeguarding user privacy

Among its biggest loss this year, although it was in the making over the past few years, has been Facebook’s handling of private and personal user data. But what happened isn’t the core team’s doing. Rather than the fault of commission, it’s the fault of omission. They key being in the lack of safety checks and counter measures to avoid a compromise in user data.

So a session with the US Congress later, what could we possibly expect at this year’s F8, Facebook’s signature event where it lays out its roadmap for the year ahead. Its plans, its sense of direction and the future of social media as we know it.

A voice assistant speak, do we need one?

There were reports earlier this year that Facebook was working on two models of speakers – Aloha and Fiona – due for a 2018 launch. Considering how Facebook usually deals with such announcements, the occasion is F8. Centre stage with a demo to its developer community and talking about how it plans on reaching out to a vast community. May be even create the next billion strong community.

In doing so, the company would follow and enter a competitive face off with Apple, Google and Amazon. But heading in that direction touches a nerve, and revives animosity with critical areas, and boils down to the same question – can we trust Facebook with our data.

Earlier today, we read about Jan Koum’s departure from Facebook. The Ukraine-born Koum was the face of a rags-to-riches story. Going on from living on food stamps in the US to building a product used by millions of users and enabling communication in the most basic of phones, to eventually selling the company to Facebook was nothing short of great accomplishment. Despite reaching such great heights, it was still perceived largely as a startup rather than a large company that Facebook was perceived as. Koum’s exit follows Brian Acton, his co-founder at WhatsApp who quit in September 2017. In both cases, the probable causes seem to hint at conflicts with Facebook around the handling of WhatsApp data.

Watch: Facebook F8 2018

Tune in to F8 tonight and let us know what you think about the world’s largest social media company and the direction it is heading in protecting and safeguarding private data of its users.

  • Published Date: May 1, 2018 8:19 PM IST
  • Updated Date: May 1, 2018 10:36 PM IST