Facebook Integrates Instagram and Messenger
October 1, 2020
Facebook has announced the integration of Facebook Messenger and Instagram. Early last year, Facebook had released plans to integrate WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, breaking the promises Facebook made when it acquired WhatsApp. After yesterday's announcement, Facebook declined to give a timeline for when WhatsApp integration would occur. In 2014, EPIC and the Center for Digital Democracy warned the FTC that Facebook incorporates user data from companies it acquires, and that WhatsApp users objected to the acquisition. The FTC responded to EPIC and CDD and told Facebook and WhatsApp that "if the acquisition is completed and WhatsApp fails to honor these promises, both companies could be in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and potentially the FTC's order against Facebook." The FTC letter noted that "hundreds of millions of users have entrusted their personal information to WhatsApp. The FTC staff continue to monitor the companies' practices to ensure that Facebook and WhatsApp honor the promises they have made to those users." Today, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on proposals to strengthen antitrust laws and restore competition. EPIC has told the Committee that merger review must consider data protection.