What the heck is Facebook doing? I check in every one or two months and today while trying to delete my birthday (can’t be done) from my Facebook account, I noticed a place to specify your PGP public key. What!?

Then I see that this is a new thing.

Most people have no idea what PGP is. Using it is famously difficult. There are even nagging questions about trust networks that it really doesn’t answer. As Wikipedia rightly says, "No satisfactory solution has been found for the underlying problem." I’ve had a PGP key since 1999 but because it’s so rarely used in the real world of email, even I have trouble using it.

So what’s Facebook’s game here? I’m not the only one wondering. Maybe it is a dig to murk up the snooping of competitor Gmail. But that can’t possibly be effective. It would seem that if Facebook wanted to create email privacy they could completey redesign the whole concept. It’s pretty clear that despite its technical competence, PGP is a social failure. Facebook can handle the social network part, but are they really interested in privacy? I’m doubtful.