When Frances Haugen has sought refuge during the past year of personal attacks, speaking engagements, and congressional and parliamentary hearings, she has found it beside a placid blue lagoon in Puerto Rico. She shares a home in Miramar—“the Brooklyn of San Juan,” she said—with her new husband, Alex, whose last name and background she prefers, for now, to keep private.
Haugen and Alex moved there last fall, choosing a place close to Escambrón Beach, where they snorkeled with sea turtles on their first date. They were married nearby, in a tiny ceremony earlier this year, Haugen clutching a big bouquet of sunflowers and wearing a beloved pair of black Converse sneakers. From the living room of their apartment, large windows face the water. “It’s wonderful,” Haugen told me. “When we look out, you can see the paddleboarders. And you cannot be stressed while watching paddleboarders. They’re just so leisurely.”
The scene offers a momentary balm to Haugen. It’s where she finds some normalcy and perspective after a year in which she thoroughly upended her life while disrupting an entire industry by leaking thousands of pages of internal Facebook documents—a bombshell that made her arguably the most significant whistleblower in the history of tech.