Whatsapp co-founder and C.E.O, Jan Koum, last Monday, 30th April, 2018, announced that he was leaving the messaging service, which he sold for a whopping Nineteen billion dollars ($19bn) Thirteen billion, Eight hundred million pounds (£13.8bn), alongside Co-Founder Brian Acton, in 2014, to Facebook Inc.
Acton who left the mobile messaging service last September, has joined the voices of Facebook’s increasing critics. With his latest tweet directed at the Social media site, advising users to “#Deletefacebook”.
Acton and Koum started Whatsapp, a pun off the phrase “What’s up?” in 2009. The fiercely popular messaging service currently boasts of more than one billion (1 bn) daily users. Its growing number of users can arguably be credited to its use of end to end encryption.
Wikipedia explains End to End Encryption (E2EE) as a system of communication where only the communicating users can read the messages. In principle, it prevents potential eavesdroppers – including telecom providers, Internet providers, and even the provider of the communication service – from being able to access the cryptographic keys needed to decrypt the conversation.
The systems are designed to defeat any attempts at surveillance or tampering because no third parties can decipher the data being communicated or stored. For example, companies that use end-to-end encryption are unable to hand over texts of their customers’ messages to the authorities.
Jan Koum confirmed he was leaving the messaging service on Monday via a Facebook post. He claims he wants to spend more time “collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate Frisbee”.
We think there is more to this than “Porsches” and “Frisbee’’ as there has in the past, been reports that he had been battling the parent company of the very encrypted messaging service over privacy concerns as “the popular messaging service’s strategy and Facebook’s attempts to use its personal data and weaken its encryption,” the Washington Post reported.
In his response via his own comment on Koum’s post, Mark Zuckerberg said he was “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 centralized systems and put it back in people’s hands. Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp.”
Koum did not give a date for his departure and has since been unavailable for comments.