Privacy and isolation offered by new Facebook
Facebook has announced a major revamp of its popular service, following numerous complaints about privacy violations from computer experts and the Canadian government.
In the new Facebook, each user’s personal page will still feature their own picture and personal information, but this information will now be completely private from potential snoopers, as well as from friends and family members.
Although this eliminates most of the social aspects of Facebook, security will be greatly enhanced.
“That was a hard decision,” said Ryan Face, inventor and president of Facebook, who acknowledged that Facebook had achieved its current level of success based on the connections it affords between friends. “However, we feel that Facebook has now matured to the point where it can break away from the world-of-mouth, people-talking-to-other-people paradigm.”
“We really wanted to address those privacy concerns,” said Face. “From now on, we’re in the business of antisocial networking. Friends be damned. Privacy is job one!”
Users will still be free to post and read notes, and issue challenges to take quizzes or complete surveys, but such messages may be sent only to themselves.
For additional security, each message will be encrypted using a unique 300-character password, composed of thousand-year-old Zhou Dynasty Chinese characters.
Face warns users not to forget the glyphs that make up their passwords, “because this is one code even we can’t crack.”
The pages will no longer be hosted on the internet, which security experts deem too vulnerable for use in such sensitive applications as updating profiles and posting iPhone pictures. Instead, each Facebook home page will be burned to a disk, placed inside a steel box, and transported to the user’s home by armored car. Facebook hopes that page updates can be turned around in six to eight weeks.
There will likely be a charge for this door-to-door Facebook service, although company officials declined to state the price, saying only that it would be “whatever the market will bear”, and much less than the potential cost of identity theft.
A group of several thousand Facebook users has been testing the new version for the past eight weeks. They were polled on how they were enjoying it, but so far no responses have been received.