"Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities, and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square. But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room," the billionaire founder of Facebook said in his blog.
Zuckerberg said he wanted to develop the social media network into one that is focused around privacy, reducing permanence and secure data storage. He promised that Facebook would not store sensitive data in countries with weak records on human rights like privacy and freedom of expression as a matter of principle.
"Upholding this principle may mean that our services will get blocked in some countries, or that we won't be able to enter others anytime soon. That's a tradeoff we're willing to make," he continued.
"I believe we should be working towards a world where people can speak privately and live freely knowing that their information will only be seen by who they want to see it and won't all stick around forever. If we can help move the world in this direction, I will be proud of the difference we've made," Zuckerberg wrote.
Facebook has been criticized for the way it handles the private information of its clients. In 2018, it emerged that the data of about 50 million users had been harvested and passed on to a political consultancy.
The company owns the Messenger and WhatsApp platforms, which encrypt users’ messages. However, message encryption limits its ability to make money through targeted adverts.