Observers noticed that the app’s App Store listing already listed 14 categories of data that may be collected and linked to users’ identities. This is in line with Meta’s other apps, which collect user data for targeted ads and personalized marketing. However, Meta is offering an opportunity for users to access Threads without joining the platform by making it interoperable with other decentralized social networks that support the ActivityPub protocol.
While this move may appeal to users concerned about data privacy, Meta’s track record of delivering promised features, such as default end-to-end encryption on Messenger, raises skepticism. Nevertheless, the integration of decentralization and support for ActivityPub has been part of Meta’s vision for Threads since its inception. Users now have leverage if they are tired of Meta’s data practices or prefer not to create an Instagram account, as they can choose not to join Threads and explore alternatives like Mastodon or Bluesky.
The adoption of ActivityPub by larger platforms validates the move towards decentralized social media and provides an opportunity for users to switch to better providers. However, concerns remain regarding Meta’s potential access to interactions beyond its borders if Threads becomes a major player in the fediverse. Decentralization offers users options, allowing them to choose servers based on their data practices. It’s important to note that while servers in the fediverse won’t have access to user data from other servers, the chosen server will still have access to the user’s data.
As the landscape evolves, users must remain vigilant for any future changes in data practices and consider switching servers if necessary. Decentralization empowers users to have a say in their online experience, offering a better data privacy perspective compared to centralized platforms like Twitter