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WhatsApp founder leaves Facebook due to privacy, encryption stance

WhatsApp founder leaves Facebook due to privacy, encryption stance

Of course, those are luxuries that Koum can afford to indulge. WhatsApp, which until 2016 charged users an annual $0.99 subscription fee, now has more than 1.5 billion users.

While Koum did not explain his reason for leaving, a report in The Washington Post said he was not happy with Facebook's attempts to use the personal data of WhatsApp users and weaken its encryption standards. He posted a farewell message to his 90,000 Facebook followers, saying it was time for him to move on. "Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp". Brian Acton, the other co-founder of WhatsApp, is also displeased with the higher-ups' decision to embed sponsors in a platform that was originally created to be aesthetically simple and have straightforward services.

Meanwhile, after Facebook, another major social media outlet Twitter has now been caught up in the data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, the British political consulting firm which collected the data of almost 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge and permission, according to a media report. His decision to leave the company came prior to Facebook's data privacy misstep with political firm Cambridge Analytica, according to internal sources. Perhaps we should all feel emotional and go play ultimate Frisbee. This program encourages Facebook users to be more proactive in finding companies, such as Cambridge Analytica, that illegally harvest information on their users. Now, there are only two board members with operational control: Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg. They promised to preserve the independence and to protect the users' data.

Koum and Acton were openly disparaging of the targeted advertising model.

- However, the year wasn't trouble free for the company as more vulnerabilities were discovered in the WhatsApp encryption on Android, that allows another app to access and read all of a user's conversations. As things stand, WhatsApp makes close to zero revenue as the company has long shrugged off any potential advertising on its platform. In many a platform he repeated and reasserted that the messaging app would remain privacy-focussed and ad-less.

It's not clear whether or not this feature actually makes Facebook any money as beyond a phone number and what type of phone you're using, there's very little else that it can collect.

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Facebook has been embroiled in a huge debate about the internet as a whole. He's already sold $8 billion worth of Facebook stock since 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Koum and Acton, former coworkers at Yahoo, founded WhatsApp in 2009. After all, one way Facebook wanted the messaging app to earn money was to let it evolve as the preferred means for businesses to communicate with users. The post does not mention any of the issues within WhatsApp or address anything reported by The Washington Post. "Everyone deserves to be protected".

Last month, Facebook announced that it would join Microsoft and 32 other companies to prevent cyber warfare. It's unrealistic to think that Koum would have stayed at Facebook forever.

But Koum's deep understanding of privacy and security will be a great loss for the social network.

If Facebook eventually strips out end-to-end encryption from WhatsApp, it will likely be met with the usual outrage in small corners.


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