WhatsApp reaffirms commitment to protect privacy as it tops 2 billion users

Yolanda Curtis
February 13, 2020

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion back in 2014.

The blog post then takes the time to remind us that WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption by default and your messages are stored on your device and not in the cloud.

Messaging app WhatsApp said on Wednesday it now has over 2 billion users worldwide, making it the largest social media platform after Facebook Inc, its parent company.

WhatsApp's popularity has grown despite recent controversies on how the app was used to exploit smartphone vulnerabilities and snoop on certain users across the world, including the world's richest man Jeff Bezos. In February 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said WhatsApp had 1.5 billion monthly active users (MAUs) who are exchanging almost 60 billion messages on a single day.

But WhatsApp's growth has remained strong even as Facebook's has slowed.

WhatsApp employs "end to end encryption" which can in many cases prevent law enforcement from accessing user data even with a court order.

Facebook's stance on encryption has been backed by more than 100 activist organizations, security experts and industry groups who warned against efforts to force tech companies to weaken encryption.

"Strong encryption acts like an unbreakable digital lock that keeps the information you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals", it added.

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos's phone is also believed to have been infected by spyware hidden in a WhatsApp message from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The Facebook-owned app said it has amassed two billion users, up from 1.5 billion it revealed two years ago.

Separately, Facebook has announced that it will integrate its four platforms - the Facebook marquee app, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has been among those calling for the breakup of the big technology firms.

Other reports by iNewsToday