Does Facebook’secretly’ read the communications you send using WhatsApp?
According to several news reports, Facebook’s privacy infractions extend to the messaging service as well. It’s not impossible that Facebook is secretly reading your WhatsApp communications without your knowledge.
A lot of news coverage was given to Facebook’s alleged privacy infractions during the course of the week. Furthermore, it appears to be WhatsApp as well (part of). That was the concern previously, and the company’s new warning that it reads encrypted WhatsApp conversations “undermines the privacy safeguards of its 2 billion users” reinforces that concern.
WhatsApp messages are read by Facebook.
Concerns have been raised about the messaging service ever since Facebook acquired it for an undisclosed fee. WhatsApp is the largest and, as a result, has the greatest number of users. And that information ended up in the hands of the largest data harvester in history. That’s why everyone was outraged when WhatsApp forced on users accepting new terms of service, which was deemed to be a mistake. This paved the way for a greater interchange of information. And it is for this reason that any accusation that Facebook is undermining WhatsApp security is taken seriously.
The most recent developments are the result of an original investigation published by ProPublica last week. “1,000 enslaved labourers fill floors of office buildings in Austin, Texas, Dublin, and Singapore… using special Facebook software to browse through millions of private messages, photographs, and videos,” the article claims. Even the concept itself is something to be pleased with: The hiring of content critics to search millions of supposedly end-to-end encrypted WhatsApp messages may rapidly erode trust in a company that has 2 billion active users. However, the devil is in the details here.
Update: We’ve altered language in our WhatsApp story to clarify that the company examines only messages from threads that have been reported by users as possibly abusive. It does not break end-to-end encryption. https://t.co/qUX9Kg7xlM
— ProPublica (@propublica) September 9, 2021
Is this really the case?
We reported yesterday that WhatsApp is putting forth significant effort to improve privacy. Yes, you are correct. Some people were concerned that WhatsApp’s encryption had been compromised, and that the end-to-end encryption was not as secure as we had all assumed it to be. This demonstrates the widespread misconception of what end-to-end encryption is and what it is not, according to the experts. There has been no encryption violation in this case, and thankfully, ProPublica has clarified the situation. As a result, Facebook does not have access to your WhatsApp communications.
As stated in the update, “an earlier version of this storey generated unintentional confusion concerning the extent to which WhatsApp checks its users’ messages and whether it breaks the encryption that keeps their conversations secret.” Changes have been made to the text in the storey to make it clear that the firm only reviews messages from threads that have been flagged as potentially inappropriate by other users. No end-to-end encryption is broken as a result.”