How Facebook stands to profit from its ‘privacy’ push

Mark Zuckerberg’s new “privacy-focused vision” for Facebook seems at first glance like a transformative mission statement. But critics say the Facebook CEO’s announcement this week is less about privacy than expansion.

Zuckerberg talks about a new commitment to private, encrypted communications. The industry was already headed that way.

Critics say Zuckerberg is charting a course for expanding lucrative new commercial services, developing new data sources for tracking people and frustrating regulators who might be eyeing a breakup of the social-media behemoth.

Under Zuckerberg’s plan, Facebook would combine its instant-messaging services WhatsApp and Instagram Direct with its core Messenger app. That way, users of one could message people on the others.

This would also expand the use of encrypted messaging that keeps outsiders — including Facebook — from reading message contents.

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