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WhatsApp Cofounder Koum To Exit Facebook

WhatsApp Cofounder Koum To Exit Facebook

The report describes how those issues gradually emerged after Facebook's purchase of the encrypted-messaging platform for $16 billion in 2014 and how they led Koum to inform Facebook's corporate leadership of his impending departure.

Facebook has been accused of being lax and allowing the transfer of its users' information to companies who then target them with ads, along with revelations of Russian election manipulation in the USA, fake news, data leaks and more.

Unlike parent company, Facebook, WhatsApp's management has fiercely opposed advertising.

Koum's Monday post announcing his departure did not mention privacy concerns, and did not specifically address his roles in Facebook outside WhatsApp.

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Facebook has taken steps in recent months to generate revenue from WhatsApp, which unlike Facebook's flagship social network does not have advertising. Mr. Koum is up for reelection as a Facebook director, according to Facebook's proxy filing earlier this month. Neither Koum nor Facebook could be reached by press time.

Shortly after the report from The Washington Post, Koum confirmed his departure on Facebook, writing that his newfound free time will allow him to spend time doing other things, such as "collecting rare air-cooled Porsches". In a post on Facebook, he said he was "taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside of technology".

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, replying to Mr. Koum's post, expressed gratitude for his work 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". And I'll still be cheering WhatsApp on - just from the outside. "Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp". As previously reported, the company is now moving towards paid-for business messaging accounts. The company has been under scrutiny for how Russian agents used it to influence voters before the 2016 presidential election and more recently for its lack of data protections for users, a subject that gained attention after revelations that the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly harvested the information of as many as 87 million Facebook users. This would apparently require weakening WhatsApp's existing end-to-end encryption-a feature that the company added to its weak-at-the-time encrypted-messaging services in 2016.

-Kirsten Grind contributed to this article.