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Washington Post: WhatsApp co-founder Jan Kum will leave the company due to disagreements with Facebook

Since the moment of creation, the messenger has adhered to a model in which there is no advertising and data collection about users – but it did not work well even after selling Facebook

Jan Kum. Reuters photo
Jan Kum. Reuters photo

According to the sources of the newspaper The Washington Post , the founder of WhatsApp Jan Kum will leave the company because of different views with the management of Facebook on the further development of the service: the company tried to use personal data and lower the level of encryption. The exact date of Kuma’s departure from office is unknown.

It is reported that Kum will also leave the post on the Facebook board of directors. He was the only one on the board who directed the Facebook-acquired company, and besides him there are only two active Facebook employees – Mark Zuckerberg and Cheryl Sandberg.

Another co-founder of WhatsApp, Brian Acton, left the company in November 2017. During the conflict around Cambridge Analytica, he supported the #DeleteFacebook campaign and donated $ 50 million to the Signal messenger, which Edward Snowden often recommended.

According to the newspaper, the cause of Kuma’s departure was a constant disagreement with the management of Facebook, which tried to find a way to earn money for a messenger. Kum was always against advertising and the use of user data for commercial purposes, and also adhered to high requirements for privacy. In 2016, WhatsApp introduced end-to-end encryption, which means that no one on Facebook or outside the company – anyone except the participants in the correspondence – can access it.

On Facebook, they were trying to start collecting information about the phone numbers of friends of WhatsApp users, then to combine it with the data from Facebook and Instagram and thus improve the quality of the targeted advertising. In addition, the company wanted to create tools for business in WhatsApp, and the messenger’s leadership believed that this would require reducing the level of encryption.

As a result, Kuma got these contradictions, and he decided to leave. According to sources, in recent months he has become less likely to appear on the Facebook campus. Other employees working on the messenger are also going to leave the company, but later in November: in this case they will be able to get their options to buy shares of the company.

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