The US government has been funding research into how to better regulate social media and artificial intelligence (AI) to keep it secure.
But now the US has joined a global wave of investors in a project that could transform how people and organizations view and manage data, said John McAfee, a former chief technology officer at Facebook.
“It’s going to make a difference to the way we look at this space,” he said in an interview.
Facebook, which has been under pressure from privacy advocates over how it handles data about its users, has been investing in research aimed at building more secure systems to help businesses monitor and manage social media, McAfee said.
But the US investment could change how the tech giant views its role in the digital economy, and McAfee says he has been struck by the importance of the research.
“I’m struck by how much this is a way for the US to engage with a global community of technologists and to really get a broader understanding of the technology that we are using to help us run our economy,” he told Al Jazeera.
Facebook’s research into social media has focused on how it could improve privacy settings for its users and improve the way it manages its data, such as the content of photos and videos.
The research is focused on building better systems to make it easier for people to manage their data and to improve the safety of the information they share online.
Facebook is currently developing its own technology that will allow it to better understand and manage the data it has about its user base.
It is also experimenting with a new type of software that will be used to automatically analyse data and track people and their activities.
McAfee’s work on privacy has also focused on what he called “the next generation of social networking”.
It will see the tech company creating a system that allows users to add their own profiles and settings.
Facebook also plans to develop a tool that can allow users to create a “social identity” based on their personal information, and that will help to build trust in the social network.
Facebook already has a privacy dashboard, which shows the information that is collected about users.
This dashboard shows users the information about them.
It also shows how often and with whom they share information, what content they have shared, and who else has shared their information.
The social identity will be based on user profiles and user settings.
The privacy dashboard shows what information is shared by Facebook users.
“We have a lot of people who are really passionate about privacy, and we’re going to be using a lot more of their data,” McAfee told Al JAZEERA.
The technology company is also working with a range of US and international companies to improve its technology, including Google and Microsoft, McFarlane said.
“They’re going in the right direction,” he added.
Facebook has a “secret sauce” for data management, McElroy said.
Facebook uses machine learning to improve privacy and security, he said.
McFairy said the technology company will have a bigger role in developing its social media technology.
“The whole reason that we’re spending a lot on this is that the tech community, the government and the private sector is really looking for ways to help them understand how this works,” he explained.
McElroys work in the technology industry, and he previously worked at the Facebook-owned Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014.
Facebook did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment.
The company has been struggling with its data and privacy practices in the wake of revelations about its use of data from US spy agencies, and it has faced lawsuits from privacy and civil liberties groups.
A study by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2016 found that Facebook had engaged in a practice known as “collect, store, and share” of user data.
It said that in some cases Facebook had stored the data for more than three years without consent.
Facebook was also investigated for not following up on reports of harassment and stalking.
In February this year, Facebook paid $1.9bn in a lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which claimed the social media giant had engaged for years in widespread abuse and harassment of users.
The lawsuit accused Facebook of ignoring reports of online harassment, including the sexual abuse of children and the threat of physical violence.
In June, the social networking giant agreed to pay $16m to settle a lawsuit brought by the US attorney general and several congressional committees.
The investigation, led by the Justice Department, also found that the social networks had engaged users in false advertising, which violated federal law.