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Facebook thinks a free latte will trick you into believing it cares about your privacy

Facebook thinks a free latte will trick you into believing it cares about your privacy
[Photo: Bonnie Kittle/Unsplash]

Facebook, the company that has one of the worst privacy track records in the history of tech, is opening multiple pop-up “Facebook Cafes” in which people can stop in for a Facebook privacy checkup.

Unfortunately that privacy checkup doesn’t allow you to see just how much data the company has on you. Rather the aim of the cafes is to help Facebook users become familiar with their Facebook privacy settings. Users who stop into the Facebook Cafes will get “free drinks from its select menu” if they take part in a privacy checkup while there, reports the Evening Standard. Right now it seems like the Facebook Cafe privacy PR stunt is only happening in the U.K. The Standard reports that Facebook will be opening five such pop-up cafes in the country between August 28 and September 5.

While it’s nice that Facebook wants to hand out a free cup of joe and spread the word about the social network’s privacy settings, the whole “friendly, hip, pop-up cafe” thing seems a bit trite considering the massive privacy violations Facebook has directly propagated, or allowed to propagate, on their users.

Cambridge Analytica aside, the company still continues to be plagued by scandal after scandal. Just this week it was revealed that Facebook allows human contractors to listen to Facebook Messenger users’ audio recordings—and that fact was not disclosed to users beforehand. That’s not to mention, as the Guardian has pointed out, Facebook is essentially an anti-privacy company that wants people to have less control over their data, not more.

But hey, free lattes, everyone. And the cafes are sure to be set up to make you want to Instagram some selfies and brag about just how awesome Facebook is for caring about your privacy so much. But there is good news: Instead of sitting in their cafe, you can simply read Fast Company’s Facebook privacy tips and WhatsApp privacy tips articles, which describe all the privacy settings you need to know in Facebook’s apps (but sorry, we don’t offer coffee).

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