After data “clash” report, WhatsApp founder says he’s leaving Facebook
News marks the second Whatsapp co-founder departure in less than a year.
Never should have trusted a Facebook run app…
The issues at stake include Facebook's demand for more user data being attached to WhatsApp profiles—in spite of the app's buyout including promises that it would "remain autonomous and operate independently." Dwoskin reports that, during one change to WhatsApp's terms of service, Facebook bosses wanted to create user-specific profiles that could reach across platforms like Facebook and Instagram—and thus be used "for ad-targeting or for Facebook’s data-mining."
More recently, according to the report, Koum and other WhatsApp staffers struggled with Facebook's desire to make its new Whatsapp For Business product "easier for businesses to use its tools." This would apparently require weakening WhatsApp's existing end-to-end encryption—a feature that the company added to its weak-at-the-time encrypted-messaging services in 2016. (If you're keeping score, that 2016 rollout still had issues, including a lack of notifications when a user's encryption key has changed.)
As Dwoskin points out, Whatsapp's other co-founder, Brian Acton, has been far more vocal of his Facebook disapproval since leaving the company in November. He's done so directly by posting support of a "#DeleteFacebook" movement, and he's indirectly made the point by contributing $50 million to the Signal Foundation, which develops and supports the encrypted-messaging app Signal (arguably Whatsapp's largest competition as of late).