Facebook chief says users in developing world have right to mobile security too

Facebook says users in developing world have right to mobile security

07 AUG 2015

Security should not just be accessible to an elite in the wealthy west, but available for users with feature phones in developing countries too, according to Facebook’s new security chief.

Alex Stamos told the Financial Times that securing the social network’s internet.org initiative is one of his top priorities, and that the company will have to do the job itself because security firms tend to follow the money, which lies with enterprises in the western world.

“We can’t say you are only safe if you are on the latest phone in a country with a great human rights record,” said Stamos, in a comment which touches on another subject – the extent to which companies collude, or choose to defy, national governments in protecting users’ data and privacy.

Stamos is an outspoken critic of the National Security Agency and other agencies in the US who push for a backdoor into the smartphone operating systems of Apple and Google. He previously worked for Yahoo and joined Facebook just six weeks ago.

Back on the subject of security in the developing world, Stamos said companies such as Facebook have an “obligation” to protect all their users.

He gave the example of how millions of users in the developing world have phones running unofficial versions of Android which are not updated with security patches when a flaw is uncovered, leaving them vulnerable to threats.

Author

Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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