Facebook’s decision to merge its messaging platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, into a single, unified system has raised privacy concerns. The company’s move was intended to bridge communication gaps and broaden the availability of end-to-end encryption, which is currently on WhatsApp only.
According to Sandra Wachter, a lawyer and Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, Facebook’s plan to combine the three platforms is bound to trigger privacy concerns. “All the data will be now in one place basically,” she says. “Before this, you were still able to choose what service you were using now all your private communications will be collected centrally in one place.”
She further added that bringing everything into one platform will pose serious data security threats as it will be a single point of vulnerability for hackers to target in a bid to obtain users personal data from all the three services.
However, Facebook remains optimitsic about its plan to integrate the apps. “We’re working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks,” said a Facebook spokesperson.