Facebook would be assembling a team dedicated to studying the analysis of encrypted data, but without the need to decrypt them previously. The social network would take care of this task to artificial intelligence researchers, among whom would be a recent incorporation that previously worked for Microsoft, according to The Information. What would be the purpose of this initiative? Develop technology to apply it to the future in its advertising model.
The specialists would be responsible for addressing this possibility within the investigative area of homomorphic encryption. Thus, Facebook would be added to other companies that already have research teams dedicated to this topic. Such is the case of Google, Amazon and Microsoft.
According to the report, the research could allow Facebook to guide ads based on the content of encrypted messages that are sent by whatsapp, without compromising the privacy of the users. Another option would be to encrypt the data of its billions of accounts, without negatively affecting your personalized ad positioning business.
Facebook history regarding the privacy of your users' data is Fast of controversies and contradictions. Therefore, this new research does not inspire too much confidence either. Although from the social network itself, they would have manifested it to The Information that it is still "too early" to think about the application of homomorphic encryption on platforms such as whatsapp, the company aims to nourish the technology necessary to present new monetization options. p>
If the information is accurate, Facebook's research could directly impact WhatsApp users in the future. Remember that the idea of displaying ads on the popular messaging platform is not new. However, the social network put the idea in the freezer at the beginning of 2020.
It is clear that this possibility was never ruled out completely, but has been paused looking for the "ideal balance" between privacy and advertising. As today whatsapp offers end-to-end encryption, the company would need to find a way to work on the content of messages without deciphering them halfway. Facebook has already been at the mercy of the regulators in the past, and it would not be willing to repeat this situation.
Personalized ads are one of the main sources of Facebook's income. This has recently been ratified with the financial results of the second quarter of 2021. But with the growing concern related to the manipulation of personal data from the public, more and more companies take measures to prevent the data from their users to be taken advantage of By platforms like Mark Zuckerberg. p>
Will Facebook be able to balance the multi-million dollar business of personalized advertisements with the encryption and data protection of users? Today seems to be an initiative that leaves more uncertainty than firm answers.