WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum announced which he will be leaving the Facebook-owned company. On his Facebook page, Koum wrote which he will be taking time to “do things I enjoy outside of technology,” including “collecting rare air-cooled Porsches” in addition to “playing ultimate frisbee.” According to the Washington Post, Koum’s departure will be the result of clashes over issues like encryption, in addition to he will be also likely to step down through Facebook’s board of directors. The departure also comes after he unloaded billions of dollars’ worth of Facebook stock.
In 2014, Facebook acquired the text messaging, group messaging, voice, in addition to video-calling app through cofounders Koum in addition to Brian Acton for $19 billion. Acton left the company in November. In a January 2018 earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed WhatsApp had amassed 1.5 billion users in addition to saw 60 billion messages sent per day.
On Koum’s post announcing his departure, Zuckerberg commented, “I’m grateful for everything you’ve done to help connect the globe, in addition to for everything you’ve taught me, including about encryption in addition to its ability to take power through centralized systems in addition to put which back in people’s hands. Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp.” Zuckerberg also reacted to the post that has a “sad” reaction emoji.
A WhatsApp spokesperson declined to comment on Koum’s position on Facebook’s board in addition to instead pointed to Koum’s Facebook post in addition to Zuckerberg’s comment. Koum was not immediately available for comment.
In a 2016 post announcing the app’s end-to-end encryption, Koum cited his Ukranian upbringing during communist rule as a reason why “the desire to protect people’s private communication” was one of WhatsApp’s core beliefs.
Due to end-to-end encryption, information sent through WhatsApp can only be seen by the sender in addition to its recipient. Neither WhatsApp, Facebook, nor third parties can see the content of messages without access to the sender’s or recipient’s devices. If a government or company asked WhatsApp to turn over your messages, the company wouldn’t be able to, since which can not read them. Yet while which cannot read a message’s content, WhatsApp does store “metadata,” which includes the date, timestamp, in addition to phone numbers associated that has a message.
Acton may also have had issues with Facebook’s stance on user privacy. After revelations which millions of Facebook users’ accounts had been improperly accessed by the political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, Acton tweeted, “which will be time. #deletefacebook.”
The news of Koum’s departure comes one day before Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, where the company will be likely to address user privacy in addition to misinformation.