If, like many planners, you use WhatsApp as the communication platform for your events, this article is for you.
WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram are merging to create the mother of all messaging platforms. But what does this mean for data privacy? Currently, only WhatsApp supports what’s known as end-to-end encryption, a system of secure communication that prevents third-parties from accessing data while it’s being transferred from one system or device to another. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has stated that while the plan is to implement end-to-end on all three platforms, it’s going to be really hard to do so. Kind of like trying to build the foundation of a house after the house has been built.
This means that the information shared across WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram—personal info and group convos to super-secret business deals and strategies—will be essentially unprotected. Secure conversations across platforms will require end-to-end encryption across all three platforms. How metadata will be collected, analyzed and used across the merged platforms following the merge is also a mystery.
Facebook’s surmounting history with security breaches and hacks and unauthorized data mining pose additional concerns. Little more than a week ago, rival Apple banned a “Facebook Research” app from its iOS App Store after learning the social media giant was paying users to monitor their every move on their mobile phones, violating (and outright defying) Apple’s data-collecting rules.
On the plus side, the merging of WhatsApp with Facebook Messenger and Instagram means attendees can login to one platform and seamlessly communicate across the others. If you’re a creative planner, and good at avoiding land mines, the possibilities of this level of integration should get your engines revving.