Facebook’s problems with the Cambridge Analytica scandal have reached WhatsApp, as for Jan Koum, founder, and CEO of the famous messaging application is announcing his resignation from Mark Zuckerberg’s company. This means that WhatsApp is officially left without its two founders and passes completely to Zuck.
Through a publication on Facebook, Jan Koum announced his departure without giving credible reasons, since he only mentions that he is going to focus on his “hobby in the rarities of air-cooled Porsche“. But the rumors speak of strong confrontations with Zuck to weaken the encryption of WhatsApp and to be able to use the data of the users for commercial subjects.
WhatsApp had endured the onslaught
According to the Washington Post, people familiar with the discussions, Zuck would have proposed a change of strategy to WhatsApp Koum, which contemplated eliminating the independence of the service to become part of the cross-data between Facebook platforms, ie Messenger, Instagram and the same social network.
This required a decrease in the encryption of WhatsApp, which would give access to user data and their conversions, which would supposedly be used to improve the other Facebook services and, in turn, serve commercial purposes, such as advertising.
Given this, Koum would have been adamantly opposed to the changes, but apparently, the pressure was such that there was no going back. During the last months, Koum would have informed the executives of Facebook and WhatsApp of his decision to resign, and during the last few weeks, he would have been seen on rare occasions by the offices of the company.
Brian Acton, the other founder of WhatsApp, left the company in September 2017 after discovering that Facebook had allowed third parties to mishandle the information of their users, which would lead to the launching of end-to-end encryption. After his departure, Acton had kept out of what happened in his former company, but with the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, was the main promoters of #DeleteFacebook.
You have to remember that Koum and Acton were always great believers in privacy. They said they collected as little data as possible from their users and always disagreed with Facebook’s thirst for data. After Facebook acquired WhatsApp for 19,000 million dollars in 2014, Koum and Acton said that Facebook had assured them that WhatsApp would remain an independent service and would not share their data with Facebook.
Today, without its founders, it seems that WhatsApp is about to fall completely into the clutches of Facebook to transform it into something for which it was not created in the beginning, something that apparently has already begun.