The news of WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum leaving the organization did come as a surprise to everyone. And the fact that the news came right before Facebook’s annual F8 conference was equally surprising. (Although Mark Zuckerberg did NOT mention about this development in his speech during the conference!)
Facebook is the parent company of WhatsApp. In his Facebook post, Jan Koum said, he is just taking some time off to enjoy things that are outside technology. However, the rumors have it – and as reported by the Washington Post – he wasn’t happy with the WhatsApp strategy of Facebook. He was concerned about the way Facebook was trying to sneak and use the personal data of WhatsApp users and how they were attempting to weaken the encryption of the messenger. How true are these rumors and resource of such news is questionable.
Notably, last November, another co-founder of WhatsApp Brian Acton, too, left the company. While why he did that is still not exactly known, he made this slightly clear when he joined the campaign #DeleteFacebook.
Both of these bosses of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, and Brian Acton, have always been serious about the data protection of the users of this messaging app. When Facebook purchased WhatsApp at a whopping $19 billion, they put it on their terms that the company would preserve WhatsApp user data no matter what.
Now recently, with how Cambridge Analytica has unfolded, we have seen the recklessness and untowardliness that Facebook shows for its user database. The people there have been using user’s private information intrusively and unjustifiably. In fact, Facebook is in the midst of one of its biggest crisis where its credibility is under question, and its reputation has taken the biggest hit.
While Mark Zuckerberg has assured everyone when appearing in front of the congressmen that they would do everything to protect the users’ data, and even admitting that they have been wrong in handling all the personal information of the users, we don’t really know if that will ever happen. See, Facebook is a publicly traded company who, at the end of the day, would focus on the shareholders. So, when it matters making a profit, they can go to any extent. And besides, Facebook isn’t just about Mark Zuckerberg. He might be noble and honest, other stakeholders may not.
The latest news of WhatsApp co-founder leaving the company allegedly due to privacy concerns, this may add to the headache of Facebook. People are already losing faith in them. And this latest development can make things worse for them. It’s time now that the company comes out and take some rather serious steps in order to assure its user base that their personal data is completely safe.
And oh, it’s also a great time for new social media platforms to emerge and fill the space that’s apparently in only widening.