Wednesday November 13, 2019
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Amid Data Privacy Scandal, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum Quits Facebook

WhatsApp CEO quits Facebook over 'data privacy' concerns

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp working on fingerprint authentication for chats: Report. Pixabay

 In a jolt to Facebook, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum has decided to move on amid reports that he had a difference of opinion with parent company Facebook over data privacy, encryption and other issues.

Koum announced his exit from WhatsApp immediately after The Washington Post on Monday reported his plans to depart “after clashing with its parent, Facebook, over the popular messaging service’s strategy and Facebook’s attempts to use its personal data and weaken its encryption”.

“I’m leaving at a time when people are using WhatsApp in more ways than I could have imagined. The team is stronger than ever and it’ll continue to do amazing things,” Koum said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Also Read: This creepy app uses WhatsApp data to let users ‘spy’

“I’m taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside of technology, such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate frisbee. And I’ll still be cheering WhatsApp on – just from the outside. Thanks to everyone who has made this journey possible,” he added.

According to the report, Koum who sold WhatsApp to Facebook for more than $19 billion in 2014, “also plans to step down from Facebook’s board of directors”.

“The independence and protection of its users’ data is a core tenet of WhatsApp that Koum and his co-founder, Brian Acton, promised to preserve when they sold their tiny start-up to Facebook,” the report added.

Facebook's logo
Facebook. Pixabay

Koum further said in his post that “It’s been almost a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it’s been an amazing journey with some of the best people.

“But it is time for me to move on. I’ve been blessed to work with such an incredibly small team and see how a crazy amount of focus can produce an app used by so many people all over the world,” he added.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg quickly replied via a post: “I will miss working so closely with you. 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 centralised systems and put it back in people’s hands”.

According to Tech Crunch, One possible candidate for the new WhatsApp CEO role would be its top business executive Neeraj Arora.

Arora has been WhatsApp since 2011 — well before the Facebook acquisition.

Also Read: Facebook: WhatsApp Business App Has Over 3mn Users

With 1.5 billion monthly users, WhatsApp is the biggest mobile messaging service in the world. Over 3 million people are actively using WhatsApp Business app.

After the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Facebook has warned investors that more users’ data scandals in the future may adversely affect the social networking giant’s reputation and brand image.

In its quarterly report shared with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), without mentioning Cambridge Analytica, Facebook said that its ongoing investments in safety, security and content review will identify additional instances of misuse of user data.

“We may also be notified of such incidents or activity via the media or other third parties,” Facebook said.

Appearing before the US Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the lawmakers that his own personal data was part of 87 million users’ that was “improperly shared” with the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.  IANS

Next Story

Here are All The Things One Should Know About Facebook Pay

According to the social networking giant, users do not need to download anything new -- Facebook Pay works seamlessly on the apps they use

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Facebook Pay
Eligible users can set up Facebook Pay by setting it up for use across all Facebook apps individually. Pixabay

Marking its foray into the digital payments system, Facebook has launched a new payments system named Facebook Pay which lets users send money to friends, shop and donate on the social networking platform and Messenger.

Currently available in the US, it will be expanded to Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp later.

It is not yet clear if Facebook Pay will launch in India as Facebook’s plans in the country are focused around WhatsApp Pay as it has a massive WhatsApp user base in the country. However, it hasn’t been introduced so far due to regulatory issues.

It is also not known if both Facebook Pay and WhatsApp Pay will be introduced in India.

According to the social networking giant, users do not need to download anything new — Facebook Pay works seamlessly on the apps they use.

Mobile billing will also be a mode of payment on the platform, said the firm’s payment terms.

“Getting started is quick and easy. Simply add your credit card, debit card, or PayPal, and you’re good to go,” the company said in its support page.

Eligible users can set up Facebook Pay by setting it up for use across all Facebook apps individually. They can go to Settings > Facebook Pay, on the Facebook app or website, then add a payment method.

It is pertinent to note that Facebook Pay is also not connected to its proposed cryptocurrency wallet Libra.

The company will not charge a fee from the users for sending and receiving money via Messenger app.

Facebook Pay
Marking its foray into the digital payments system, Facebook has launched a new payments system named Facebook Pay which lets users send money to friends, shop and donate on the social networking platform and Messenger. Pixabay

Facebook may, however, subject users to fees from third parties for reversal charges or insufficient funds if attempted payments are rejected.

Users who are under 18 will not be able to use the peer-to-peer (P2P) payments service on Messenger.

ALSO READ: Use These Tools to Calculate Your Crypto Tax

P2P is also not to be used for business, commercial, or merchant transactions. The company will discontinue payment services if it notices such prohibited transactions. (IANS)