WhatsApp founder leaving Facebook over privacy concerns, Washington Post reports

Jan Koum co-founder and CEO of Whats App speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach

Koum, together with his fellow co-founder Brian Acton, sold WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014 for an eye-popping sum of $19 billion, $3 billion of which consisted of Facebook stock granted to both Koum and Acton, who left the company back in September. Nine years later, WhatsApp with over 1.5 billion monthly users, has become the darling of the tech community.

No reason was given, but the Washington Post, citing "people familiar with internal discussions", reported that it was over Facebook's strategy for WhatsApp and its attempts to use the app's personal data and weaken its encryption. Not to mention, Mark Zuckerberg commented on the original post admiring the idea of encryption and that it would "always be the heart of WhatsApp".

Koum also the co-founder of WhatsApp in an ironic move took Facebook to declare his resignation to public.

Facebook's privacy practice has been regarded by many as inappropriate since the popular data infringement involving Cambridge Analytica, with momentum pilling on #deletefacebook movement which also involved Brian Action that left the company earlier. Perhaps we should all feel emotional and go play ultimate Frisbee. "Thanks to everyone who has made this journey possible".

Now when Koum steps down as WhatsApp CEO, reportedly over difference with the parent company's management and the board over their approach towards user privacy, it clearly signals fresh troubles for the social media giant, which recently got embroiled in a big data misuse scandal involving its now-estranged partner Cambridge Analytica.

Indeed, such was the controversy that Facebook had to suspend in November 2016 data sharing between its social network and WhatsApp across the European Union.

Koum was a Facebook board member.

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COO Sheryl Sandberg chimed in as well.

Koum and Acton were openly disparaging of the targeted advertising model. As pressure mounted, Facebook came through and announced they would be protecting this data by partnering with Open Whisper Systems and enabling end-to-end encryption.

So with all that in mind here's a summary of how WhatsApp actually makes money, and why Koum may have been concerned about the future of the app.

The Guardian reports that WhatsApp was developed with user privacy as the main focus. Clearly there is some bad blood between the Whatsapp team and Facebook.

Koum founded WhatsApp in 2009 with the promise to provide truly private communications.

The currency of online companies is data, and perhaps conveniently for technology firms, privacy isn't a feature the masses have found to be a product differentiator. Facebook has been under the cosh for allegedly, not using that information in an ethical manner. In February, he joined cryptography luminary Moxie Marlinspike - co-author of the Signal protocol - to create the Signal Foundation.

It's also being reported that a number of WhatsApp employees are also feeling demoralized in their work environment and now plan to leave the company in November.

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