WhatsApp, Instagram, To Be Merged With Facebook Messenger

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FB Lite Android app
Facebook Lite on a small Android phone. Image obtained with thanks from Facebook.

Facebook purchased WhatsApp back in 2014, and they also bought Instagram prior to that in 2012. Both services are still wildly popular and have still been operating (mostly, at least) independent of Facebook, especially WhatsApp.

According to The Independent, Facebook will integrate the underlying infrastructure of Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger into a central messaging platform. WhatsApp is the most private of the three by far, requiring only a phone number to sign up (this doesn’t mean it’s private, though).

There are privacy concerns after the privacy-related incidents involving Facebook, the type of data they collect from users, and what they and third parties might be using it for. Might WhatsApp users experience a lower level of privacy once it is integrated with Facebook Messenger? Let me know in the comments!

Expanding End-To-End Encryption: What It Really Means

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly ordered the implementation of end-to-end encryption for all messaging. If your messages are intercepted over a Wi-Fi network or via your ISP, a thief can’t read them because they would be encrypted.

However, end-to-end encryption is not guaranteed to prevent the following:

  • Facebook tracking your activities on WhatsApp.
  • Hacking of Facebook’s servers with the intent to steal user data.
  • Government data requests.

Why not? End-to-end encryption encrypts transmissions (on both the sending and receiving end), but it doesn’t mean there won’t be back doors that enable the three activities above (see what happened with Skype).