One of the most popular messaging app’s CEO Jan Koum is leaving the company on Facebook’s approach to user data, encryption, and advertising. Due to arguments with parent company over the data privacy and business model of the app, Jan decided to leave the company. As of the fact that the messaging app ‘WhatsApp’ was sold to Facebook four years back in 2014 for a whopping sum of $19 billion and $3 billion of which comprised of Facebook stock that was granted to both of the founders of WhatsApp who left the company in September. Jan Koum confirmed his departure today on Facebook via a personal post.
Though, Facebook post doesn’t suggest any inner turmoil at WhatsApp which simply mean the issue is with the social network giant’s approach to data privacy and encryption.
Jan Koum wrote about how amazing his journey was with Brian and his team at WhatsApp and then telling people that he is leaving the company with a vote of thanks to all people who made their journey possible.
In response to Jan’s post, CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg commented on his post telling him that he will miss working with him so closely and he is grateful for everything that Jan has done for him to help connect the world. He also gave a vote of thanks to Jan for teaching him about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems.
Both the co-founders of WhatsApp messaging app, Brian Acton and Jan Koum are devout privacy advocates. These are the people, who assured to preserve the sanctity of messaging app when they first announced the sale of WhatsApp to a social media platform, Facebook 4 years ago. It means the duo planned was done not to make any integration the app with a user’s Facebook account compulsory and told that the WhatsApp would never share data with its parent company. The messaging app became utterly end-to-end encrypted in the month of April 2016. The company also resisted calls from govt. agencies to develop doors into its creation even for counterterrorism and law implementation measures.
However in the last year, the social networking website, Facebook pushed the messaging app, WhatsApp to alter its terms of service to offer the bigger social network access to messaging app users’ phone numbers. Facebook headship also pushed for combined profiles across its services that could be utilized for the purpose of data mining and ad targeting, as well as a reference system that would propose Facebook friends based on their WhatsApp contacts.
It is the business model of the application that created some contention between Jan and Facebook, with the latter business pushing for the abolition of the $0.99-yearly subscription fee to upsurge user growth and considering advertising and other methods, such as allowing businesses chat with users, as likely sources of revenue. The strategy to bring businesses onto the stage was particularly prickly, as the social giant allegedly wanted to weaken the WhatsApp’s encryption to allow businesses read user messages, unveiled by The Washington Post.
Koum’s departure is definitely ideological than financial as per the reports. Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp poured $50 million of his own money into the encryption system of the app, recently tweeted “It’s time #DeleteFacebook” in the response to the continuing Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal. Thus it’s easy to conclude that both the founders are fed with the social network giant.