WhatsApp founder leaves Facebook due to privacy, encryption stance

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum is leaving the company over disagreements with Facebook about privacy and encryption.

WhatsApp was purchased by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion and has been key to the firm’s messaging ambitions, turning into a free app and crossing adding another service used by over a billion users to Facebook’s messaging portfolio.

On his Facebook post, Koum presented the parting as genial.

He said “I’m taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside of technology, such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate frisbee. And I’ll still be cheering WhatsApp on – just from the outside.”

However, a report from the Washington Post indicated that all was not well in the house of Zuck.

Facebook and WhatsApp experienced tension over the firm’s mandatory end to end encryption, which kept WhatsApp’s messages safe from prying eyes, including those on Facebook.

Facebook allegedly wanted to make the encryption weaker so businesses would have an easier time using its tools. As the backlash from the Cambridge Analytica and other Facebook scandals grew, it seems that Koum reached his breaking point, culminating in his departure from the company.

“I’m grateful for everything you’ve done to help connect the world, and for everything you’ve taught me, including about encryption and its ability to take power from centralised systems and put it back in people’s hands. Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp,” said Zuckerberg on Monday night.

Via The Guardian.

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