Uh-oh, our ad-free messaging app, WhatsApp will be undergoing some significant changes pretty soon and it’s causing an uproar among users.
One of WhatsApp’s co-founders, Brian Acton recently spoke out in an interview with Forbes for the first time since he left the messaging platform.
Brian Acton | Source: Business Today
He left the Facebook-owned company a year ago in September 2017 and only recently he revealed the reasons behind his departure.
He told Forbes one of the main reasons why he left WhatsApp was because Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, planned to introduce targeted ads on the instant messaging app’s Status feature.
“It was like, okay, well, you want to do these things I don’t want to do. It’s better if I get out of your way. And I did.”
He mentioned that he deeply valued users’ privacy, as he described the app as ‘No ads, no games, no gimmicks’.
Commenting more on targeted ads being implemented on WhatsApp, Acton stated that he felt doing so was like breaking a social contract with users, saying,
“Targeted advertising is what makes me unhappy.
“At the end of the day, I sold my company. I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day.”
Meanwhile, a WhatsApp spokesperson has also confirmed that targeted ads will, in fact, be implemented starting 2019. However, the app’s end-to-end encryption will remain as there are no plans to change that.
The news of WhatsApp introducing targeted ads had caused an uproar among users as this could violate privacy.
Although WhatsApp states that they cannot access users’ data due to end-to-end encryption, targeted ads often access such data in order to target ads specific to individual users.
In another report by Forbes, security researchers have pointed out that while end-to-end encryption is in place, Facebook can still extract keywords from messages, which could be used for targeted ads on WhatsApp.
Source: Windows Central
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