Facebook’s story over the last year has been a mixed bag at best and a disaster at worst. The company’s subsidiary companies like Instagram and WhatsApp are thriving, but the main social network is struggling. Numerous privacy and data scandals have made Facebook become the tech company people love to hate.
That’s not a flippant remark either as a recent study showed Facebook is comfortably the least trusted tech company. In an effort to rebuild that reputation and recover from privacy scandals, Facebook has hired some of its fiercest critics.
This week, the company announced it has appointed three veteran privacy law activists. Among them is Nate Cardozo, an attorney who previously worked with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The EFF has traditionally been critical of Facebook and Cardozo has slammed the company’s privacy practices.
Indeed, Cardozo’s critiques of the social network pre-date the scandals. In 2015, he said Facebook’s “business model depends on our collective confusion and apathy about privacy.”
Joining Cardozo are attorney Robyn Greene, who comes from the Open Technology Institute in Washington. Finally, Nathan White is also joining Facebook when he leaves his role at Access Now.
Sadly, Cardozo won’t be working directly with the social network on privacy. Instead he will work on WhatsApp from Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters in California. Greene and White will be working on the social network from the company’s Washington DC base.
The company discussed the new hires in a statement to Ars Technica:
“We think it’s important to bring in new perspectives to the privacy team at Facebook, including people who can look at our products, policies and processes with a critical eye,” said Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer.
“We know that we have a lot of work to do not only to restore people’s trust in Facebook, but also to improve their privacy experiences. We hope that the new hires we are making will challenge us to build better approaches to privacy in the future and we’re excited to have them onboard.”