MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum is leaving Facebook after clashing over data privacy

Posted by M. C. Fox on May 1, 2018

I don’t know anything about Jan Koum but obviously he isn’t dumb. He couldn’t see what Facebook is all about? He didn’t see the CIA/In-Q-Tel connection? Did Zuck con him with a pack of fake promises?

Koum’s concern with privacy appears genuine, that is the non sequitur. The real story would be interesting.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/30/17304792/whatsapp-jan-koum-facebook-data-privacy-encryption

Nick Statt

WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum is leaving the company amid arguments with parent company Facebook over data privacy and the messaging app’s business model, according to a report from The Washington Post. 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. Koum confirmed his departure in a personal Facebook posttoday…

In response, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to Koum in a comment saying, “Jan: 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 centralized systems and put it back in people’s hands. Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp.”

 Both Koum and Acton are devout privacy advocates, and both pledged to preserve the sanctity of WhatsApp when they announced its sale to Facebook four years ago, which meant the duo planned never to make integrating the product with a user’s Facebook account mandatory and said it would never share data with the parent company. WhatsApp became entirely end-to-end encrypted in April of 2016, and the company has resisted calls from government agencies to build back doors into its product even for counterterrorism and law enforcement measures.

Koum’s departure is four years and one month since the acquisition, meaning he’s been able to fully exercise all of his stock options under a standard corporate vesting schedule. But the reasons for his leaving seem to be more idealogical than financial. Acton, who has poured $50 million of his own money into encrypted messaging app Signal, tweeted back in March, “It’s time,” along with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook, in response to the ongoing Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal. So it seems both founders are fed up with Facebook.

Be seeing you

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