You could write an entire book at this point about the struggles that Facebook has experienced with both fake news and questionably managed user data. To address the second issue, the company is looking to buy a cybersecurity firm that will shut down future security breaches before they happen, according to a new report by The Information.
Individuals speaking to The Information did not disclose specific companies on Facebook's shopping list, but one of them believed that the company could tie the knot "by the end of the year."
Either way, it should come as no surprise that the increasingly embattled company is looking for a better security model in the wake of a recent breach that exposed the personal data of tens of millions of users.
Facebook has also been dealing with a steady bleed of younger users, which can impact future growth. Because of the "network effect" that Facebook unlocked in its early days, user value scales directly according to how many people are using the platform. More people means more content and "engagement."
Engagement includes commenting, posting links and memes, and watching streaming videos. The more engagement, the more that the company can charge for ads -- and the more user data it can provide to advertisers.
Of course, many teens and millennials are running into the waiting arms of Instagram and WhatsApp -- which are also both owned by Facebook and have wrestled with their own issues, such as cyberbullying, deadly rumor-mongering, and a subtle but pervasive pressure to participate even if you have nothing to contribute compared to the users who appear to be living fabulous lives, which can lead to a shallow and disconnected experience.
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The company's former security chief Alex Stamos left the company in August for a teaching position at Stanford University, which is just a few miles away from Facebook's global headquarters in Menlo Park. Publicly, the departure was amicable.
On his personal Facebook page, Stamos wrote at the time: "[W]hile I will no longer have the pleasure of working side by side with my friends there, I am encouraged that there are so many dedicated, thoughtful and skilled people continuing to tackle these challenges.
"It is critical that we as an industry live up to our collective responsibility to consider the impact of what we build, and I look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with the security and safety teams at Facebook."
Company COO Sheryl Sandberg chimed in with similarly positive statements, saying, "We know he will be an enormous asset to the team at Stanford, and we look forward to collaborating with him in his new role."
- A report from The Information indicates that Facebook intends to acquire a cybersecurity firm to fix its issues with user data privacy breaches.
- Its head of security left amicably in August for a teaching position at Stanford University.
- Facebook's secret 'shadow profiles' may use personal data you thought was private
- WhatsApp unsend feature no longer works on messages more than 13 hours old
- Instagram is promoting voter registration through ads and Stories
- Facebook accused of misleading advertisers, then trying to hide it (CNET)
- Facebook says it detected security breach after traffic spike (ZDNet)
- Facebook data privacy scandal: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)