Facebook has hired Nate Cardozo, formerly the top legal counsel at privacy watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation and a prominent Facebook critic, to a privacy role at WhatsApp. The move comes as the social media giant seeks to integrate the WhatsApp messenger product with its Instagram and Facebook properties.
Adding Cardozo to the WhatsApp privacy ranks shows how the company may be planning for future legal and lobbying efforts. Facebook is facing scrutiny in the EU over its plans to merge other social media properties with WhatsApp, with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner saying the move could be barred over privacy concerns.
Cardozo has written acerbically on the company's privacy practices:
"Maybe you don't care enough about a faceless corporation's data mining to go out of your way to protect your privacy, and anyway you don't have anything to hide," Cardozo wrote in an op-ed in October 2015, published in the San Jose Mercury News. "Facebook counts on that; its business model depends on our collective confusion and apathy about privacy. That's wrong, as a matter of both ethics and law."
Most recently, the EFF published a critique in December 2018 of recently released Facebook information, titled, "New documents show that Facebook has never deserved your trust."
A Facebook spokesman declined to make Cardozo available for an interview Tuesday. Cardozo confirmed the move via social media.