WhatsApp Decides to Protect Your Data
When Facebook bought WhatsApp for the absurdly large sum of $19bn back in February, they took the tech world by storm. $19bn for a FREE messaging app? A messaging app? Really? Soon afterwards, speculation began to grow about the real reason Facebook, a content marketing company at its core, bought the company and it’s pretty clear: They wanted the wealth of personal information stored about the service subscribers. As it turns out, they weren’t the only ones, as WhatsApp has been the subject of many suspicions of (and attempts at) hackers getting users’ private information.
With the abundance of concerns, Facebook has evidently been listening as they have taken steps to secure your messages. Novel idea, right? Open Whisper Systems announced on their blog the other day that they had partnered with WhatsApp to integrate their TextSecure protocol into the WhatsApp clients in order to provide end-to-end encryption for their user’s personal communications (with group chat and media messages to follow in the future).
All of this is a great step, albeit a tad bit late to the party, but there is an essential rule of security: invite peer review. You do this by providing an open source client or API, and let outside parties audit and verify that what is getting sent is actually what is being claimed. All in all, we applaud Facebook and WhatsApp for taking this step and look forward to them quickly closing the loop around their communications.