Your WhatsApp messages to be analysed by Facebook? See what this report reveals and how it may impact you
Is your privacy on WhatsApp under threat? The popular messaging app WhatsApp is renowned for its privacy feature that ensures end-to-end encryption. This means that only those people you give permission to can read your messages and no one else. Essentially, this means that only those who are part of the conversation or all the people present in a group chat can read these messages. Not even WhatsApp itself can snoop and read these messages. This gives most people a certain peace of mind in that they can say whatever they want without having to worry about someone else reading it.
But now, Facebook, the parent company of WhatsApp, has hired a team of researchers to analyze encrypted WhatsApp messages in order to serve targeted ads to audiences, it is being reported. The problem lies with the encryption part for Facebook. Since WhatsApp chats are encrypted, they cannot be read by anyone else other than recipients. Facebook is looking at the possibility of data mining with a difference. In fact, the company has confirmed that a team has been brought on board to do just that, Android Authority cited The Information as saying.
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So, the task before Facebook is to decrypt the encrypted WhatsApp chats in a manner that does not violate the user's privacy. Yes, there is a name for this method and it is called 'homomorphic encryption', which allows mining of data in a meaningful manner that could potentially, enable it to send targetted ads to users.
However, The Information report reveals that Facebook has denied any such possibility. Facebook reportedly told The Information that it is “too early for us to consider homomorphic encryption for WhatsApp."