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Zuckerberg breaks his Whatsapp promise

With the merger of Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger-technology completed the Facebook-in-chief, the independence of the Apps permanently. This makes the way for a gigantic database of over a billion people.

comment by Jannis Brühl Jannis Brühl

Jannis Brühl, born in Nuremberg, is head of the digital Department. Studied politics and American studies in Erlangen, Germany and Portland, Oregon. Internship at, then staff in the Economics Department. Won with the SZ-volunteers of the guard price of German daily press for the project "weapons in Germany". In 2013, Arthur F. Burns-fellow the editors of ProPublica in New York. By 2015, a correspondent for the North Rhine-Westphalia in Cologne and Düsseldorf.

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It is equally fascinating how risky Experiment with the private life of two and a half billion people follow. So many people are using at least one of the three Apps of the Facebook group: Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger to Chat; Instagram to upload images. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has now arranged to merge the Chat technology of the three services. You are to remain in their own Apps, which users can send messages between them via a common infrastructure. This tag makes a debate over the destruction of the group's more urgent than ever.

For users of the Fusion brings first of all an advantage. The Chats between the three Apps should be protected with end-to-end encryption, which is considered to be very safe. So far, it is only in Whatsapp default. If Facebook's experts managed to transfer this level of security on Instagram and Facebook, would create the group so suddenly, a gigantic encrypted network. Billions of people would be protected against eavesdropping of Criminals and secret services. This is good for the small, private secrets and the great political ideas, which are prohibited in some States.

Valuable metadata reveal a lot about the user

A guarantee for the freedom and privacy of Zuckerberg's merger plans are still not. Because while it is expanding encryption, he concentrates even more power on the market in his company. Not only that, the protected Compounds are in the hands of a group who had to oppose the outflow of data to the NSA or dubious external App provider nothing. The content of the messages will be backed up soon against attacks from the outside, but the metadata who communicated with whom and when? - from the previously separate systems are likely to flow together. This allows the construction of a gigantic database in which the private behavior of all users is stored.

meta data for the advertising business of the group, already important, because you can easily be automated to evaluate as the content of messages, for which an understanding of context is important. Today Whatsapp phone numbers next to Facebook.

A unified infrastructure to facilitate such data flows. The merger enables Facebook to blast the walls of his already fragile data silos completely. Whatsapp and Instagram are not forcing your users to date, disclosing your identity. The anonymity that many of you appreciate, is likely to be lost if the accounts are closed with them on Facebook shortly. From E-Mail addresses, real names, and Likes, which are coupled with telephone numbers and metadata of Whatsapp, allow people to create profiles, or cross-App networks of political activists.

Zuckerberg ruled now by

Zuckerberg is breaking the promise he gave to users, such as employees of Instagram and Whatsapp, as he bought the company. They would remain independent, it said, and, in the case of Whatsapp: The user data should remain safe, as it was the founders of the Messengers always at the heart. They did it publicly known how much you hated advertising, and Monitoring of the Central ideas behind Facebook's business model. The Whatsapp Team was the last line of defense for the privacy of the users in the group. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg has scared the founders. Now he governs. Sceptics said the formal independence of the daughter-in Apps for a Fig leaf: Eventually, Facebook will impose its view model and data-hungry, but also with Whatsapp.

It can now no longer deny it: a Monopolist. He builds an Ecosystem of communication, in which the price of a waiver is always higher. Dropouts from the loss of their social network about three Apps over and threatens to soon. Even the expansion of the encryption cemented the Power of Facebook. Which competitors can be deducted secure communication with every citizen of the Western world - a few holdouts - offer?

data protection, competition authorities and civil society need to look carefully. There is also a hardness test is whether the new data protection regulation the EU is no good indeed to control a global group. The threat of unbundling needs to be an Option - so at least one App from Facebook. The negligence which left the conglomerate of the three Apps in the first place, not to be repeated.

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