By Rasheed Sobowale
Many users of the popular instant messaging platform, WhatsApp, woke up to a surprising status update on their phone. The Facebook-owned company in its bid to promote its commitment to privacy updated every users’ status.
It started the update notifying its users; “WhatsApp is now on status! We’ll let you know about new features and updates here”.
Users are now concerned that if the platform could do this, they might, the same way force adverts display on them. This is indeed worrying as such a move indicates the platform can conveniently manipulate its application to forcefully display adverts; a feature most users prefer to be forever missing.
Some internet users had flocked to alternate encrypted messaging platforms like Telegram and Signal over the fear that WhatsApp may share their data with its parent company, Facebook.
The company had in defence stated; “We can’t see your private messages or hear your calls, and neither can Facebook,”
In an analysis earlier published by Vanguard, it was deduced that WhatsApp indeed shares users data with Facebook, its parent company. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for a whopping sum of $19 billion.
However, the shared data cannot be ascertained if it includes users messages which it promised would be end-to-end encrypted.
But based on the platform’s claim, they cannot; so far the chats remain end-to-end encrypted, this claim holds.
End-to-end encryption technology applies encryption to messages. Think of it this way, when a message is sent from a user, it is padlocked such that even the platform (WhatsApp) cannot unlock it.
It is only the receiver’s phone that can unlock it. This means the message becomes unlocked only after the receiver gets it. Since WhatsApp messages are stored locally on your phone, the platforms server cannot have access to it even afterwards.