WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging app keeps growing tremendously. The messaging platform which was acquired by Facebook in 2014, for a reported $19 billion, has now reached over 2 billion users worldwide. Announcing the milestone in an official blog post on Wednesday, the company said that the service has allowed friends to stay in touch, families to share tender moments with each other, co-workers to collaborate and businesses to grow.
WhatsApp also emphasizes on the app’s end-to-end encryption that “keeps the information you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals. Messages are only kept on your phone, and no one in between can read your messages or listen to your calls, not even us. Your private conversations stay between you (and the recipient).”
Every private message sent using WhatsApp is secured with end-to-end encryption by default. Encryption acts like an unbreakable digital lock that keeps the info you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals. 6/10
— WhatsApp Inc. (@WhatsApp) February 12, 2020
However, this has never gone down well with governments for limiting the power to track down criminals and allows them conduct their illegal activities with impunity. Well, the company claimed that it was working with “top security experts, (and employing) industry-leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues — without sacrificing privacy.”
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, WhatsApp CEO, Will Cathcart, re-emphasized the company’s commitment to privacy protection, saying the it will not yield to persistent demands from governments around the world to disable encryption on its service. However, he did say that the company will assist law enforcement agencies with their investigation by providing metadata as it deems fit.
Cathcart also claimed that WhatsApp will soon be inter-operable with other Facebook services, including Messenger, although, he refused to provide any timeframe for the integration. He further admitted that such an integration will have its limits, saying that neither app will be able to access all the features of the other, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out going forward.