Mar 9, 2019

Ashkan Soltani Weighs in on Concerns Over Facebook's Plan to Integrate WhatsApp, Instagram Messaging

From ABC7 News

Facebook's plan to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram messaging raises concerns

By Soo Youn

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a manifesto this week in an apparent attempt to rebrand the social-networking company as a "privacy-focused" platform as it moves forward to marry messaging functions across all of its platforms and even into text messages. But some experts are skeptical about the claim, which comes after a string of scandals regarding user privacy, data breaches and looming investigations...

"There is some talk about reversing the approval of Facebook's acquisitions," Reid said. "But if Facebook's messaging applications are integrated with Instagram and WhatsApp, separating the companies becomes much more difficult."

Ashkan Soltani, former chief technologist for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), agrees.

"It's a judo move," Soltani told ABC News. "Taking your enemies' force toward you, redirecting for your advantage. By using privacy and security as a cover, it counter-veils the antitrust issues raised. Once users start using it and see how easy it is to text your mom from Instagram, it will dispel any public backlash [if authorities try to impose bans]..."


Ashkan Soltani (MIMS 2009) is an I School alum. He is an independent researcher and technologist specializing in privacy, security, and behavioral economics.

Last updated:

March 13, 2019