Science

Amid privacy controversies, WhatsApp founder departs Facebook

Amid privacy controversies, WhatsApp founder departs Facebook

Koum confirmed on his Facebook page today that he's leaving, saying it is time for him to "move on". WhatsApp is said to have been comfortable sharing some data, but refused to create a "user profile that was united across Facebook's multiple platforms".

Facebook may not be losing any users or profits over the privacy and data misuse scandals, it's losing one of the most outspoken privacy advocates and cofounder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum.

"It's been nearly a decade since Brian [Acton] and I started WhatsApp, and it's been an fantastic journey with some of the best people".

Facebook shares were slightly lower Monday amid the news and closed down 1 percent at $172.

WhatsApp, a pun on the phrase "What's up?", only stores messages on users' smartphones and not on the company's servers, making the service more private and hard to hack. Koum has just revealed that he's leaving WhatsApp.




The Washington Post reported earlier that Koum is exiting the company after clashing with Facebook over strategy, and that he also plans to leave Facebook's board.

"I'm 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", Zuckerberg wrote.

"It's been nearly a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it's been an unbelievable journey with some of the best people", Koum wrote on a Facebook post. Acton left the company past year and has since become an outspoken opponent to Facebook's handling of user data. And Acton and Koum may be followed by an even larger falloff, as the WaPo report suggests November as a mass-exodus point, when original WhatsApp staffers will be allowed to exercise stock options.

When reached for comment, Facebook representatives pointed us to Koum's post.

Facebook scrapped WhatsApp's annual fee but Mr Koum and Mr Zuckerberg ruled out advertising on WhatsApp. "Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp".


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