Facebook has had a rather rough ride in 2018, with a number of PR disasters denting the company’s trustworthiness around the globe.
In just 12 months Facebook has found itself in the middle of numerous news storms, involving everything from data breaches to its part in facilitating election meddling around the world.
Rather than start the new year afresh, though, it appears Facebook will continue through 2019 in a similar fashion, with trust at a very low ebb.
In a Silicon Valley conference this month, four expert panellists were tasked with identifying the ways the industry could ‘make the internet free from fear’. Unfortunately for Facebook, it was singled out by the panel as being the worst example of a corporation that isn’t making the internet safe.
It was quite the opposite result for Microsoft, however, which the panel identified for providing a model that’s ‘doing a really good job of protecting user safety’.
This was some turnaround for Microsoft, which has seen its reputation follow an inverse track to that of Facebook over recent times. As The Register notes, only a few short years ago Microsoft had a reputation for inviting smaller competitors to merger talks, before stealing their technology and ‘slamming the door’ in their face. It’s this practice, The Register says, that helped Internet Explorer rule the browser roost for so long (albeit, it claims, “illegally”).
Now, Microsoft has become the bastion of user safety. One such example of how it’s done this was when the company stood firm after the US government came asking for a back door into its encryption. The enormity of this was not lost on The Register, which claimed Microsoft had previously made a name for itself as being a company that all-too-easily acquiesces in the face of such requests. Elsewhere, the tech giant was commended for avoiding big data breaches and selling user information.
The Silicon Valley conference ended with a simple message – that users should be in control of their personal data. With many of those on the panel not expecting Facebook to make sweeping improvements any time soon, it seems there may be some time before it turns the public around like Microsoft has managed to.