Will merging major apps put your privacy at risk?  

Written by:
Katie Robertson
Date Posted:
30 January 2019

Tired of switching between different messaging apps?

WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger are merging – which will allow users to send messages between the networks for the first time.

Zuckerberg’s plans
Mark Zuckerberg has released plans to integrate the Facebook-owned messaging services to create a seamless communication experience.

From what we know, the individual platforms will continue to exist as separate applications, with a crossover between the three in terms of the technical infrastructure. The integration will take place at the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020.

What does this mean for the 2.6 billion users’ privacy?
Whilst WhatsApp is currently the only platform with end-to-end encryption by default, Zuckerberg has stated that he wants Instagram and Facebook Messenger to be supported too.

At this point, it seems extremely difficult to achieve as it means completely re-engineering all three messaging services to be in sync, which would take a long time. Facebook Messenger currently only supports end-to-end encryption in the special ‘secure conversations’ mode, which has to be turned on and isn’t available by default.

There will also be a crossover of how much personal information each app requires. Facebook has a lot of personal information (pretty much your whole identity), whilst WhatsApp only needs your telephone number.

Unanswered questions
Aside from all of the security precautions, there are still many unanswered questions about the integration, which will hopefully become more apparent as we get closer to the launch.

What we’ve been discussing:
What is the purpose of the integration?
What happens if you don’t use all 3 platforms?
How would you know which platform you are messaging to/from?
Would you have the same contacts on each?

What do you think of the WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram merger? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @Hyve!

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