Former EEF Privacy Critic Nate Cardozo Joins Facebook

In an act to increase its trust and public credibility, Facebook has roped in former legal counsel at privacy watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation Nate Cardozo. Cardozo previously held the position of Senior Information Security Counsel with Electronic Frontier Foundation and had worked closely with the organization’s cybersecurity policy.

Nate Cardozo also confirmed the move via social media. Nate Cardozo previously was a prominent Facebook critic, who used to criticize the company for sharing the privacy of its users. The move of Nate Cardozo to join the social media giant comes as a surprise to many. The negotiation happened after Facebook’s plan of integrating WhatsApp messenger product with its Instagram and Facebook properties.

The addition of Nate Cardozo to the WhatsApp privacy ranks may reveal that the company is planning for a secure legal and lobbying efforts for the future. But this merge of Facebook with WhatsApp and other social media does not sit well with EU. The company is facing severe scrutiny, with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner saying the move could be barred over privacy concerns.

Cardozo has written many harsh comments and reviews about Facebook. In a op-ed in October 2015, published in the San Jose Mercury News wrote, Cardozo wrote “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,” he further went on to add “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.”

Electronic Frontier Foundation also has criticized WhatsApp specifically, in its secure messaging guide in 2016, saying: “WhatsApp’s recent privacy policy update announced plans to share data with WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook, signaling a concerning shift in WhatsApp’s attitude toward user privacy. In particular, the open-ended, vague language in the updated privacy policy raises questions about exactly what WhatsApp user information is or is not shared with Facebook. ”

One of the most recent articles published by a critique in December 2018 about the recent leak of Facebook information, titled, “New documents show that Facebook has never deserved your trust. ”

When asked for an interview the Facebook spokesman denied to let Cardozo available for an interview. Along with Nate Cardozo, Robyn Green an alumnus of Open Technology Institute will be joining Facebook as a privacy policy manager. Robyn Green used to work in a tech privacy advocacy group where she also served in a law and policy role. Facebook said that Robyn Green role would be focused on “law enforcement access and data protection issues.” Green confirmed her move to Facebook in a tweet.

Leading into the merge, Facebook is smart enough to recruit as many reputed voices in online privacy. The recent event regarding the companies failed to give more importance to individuals privacy hasn’t entirely vanished yet. But its move of hiring all the critics is a reliable way to build the lost trust. For an organization who is not known for its public dissent and open dialogue, the newly hired critics may prove a valuable asset.

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