Internal Facebook Memo Tells Employees to Do Better on Privacy

Alex Kantrowitz, writing in his Big Technology newsletter:

On December 22, 2020, Facebook VP Andrew “Boz” Bosworth wrote his colleagues with a stark message on privacy. “The way we operated for a long time,” he said, “is no longer the best way to serve those who use our products.”

In an internal memo called “The Big Shift,” obtained by Big Technology and first reported here, Bosworth called on Facebook employees to prioritize privacy as they built their products, even to the detriment of the user’s experience. The public’s expectations on privacy were changing, he said, and Facebook’s old approach wasn’t cutting it anymore.


In a follow-up note to his division, Bosworth said they’d invert their product development process. “Instead of imagining a product and trimming it down to fit modern standards of data privacy and security,” he said, “we will start with the assumption that we can’t collect, use, or store any data. The burden is on us to demonstrate why certain data is truly required for the product to work.”

Two things:

  1. Duh, and/or hello, and

  2. I will believe it when I see it.