Zuccing Reimagined

January 8, 2021

Half a year ago, I explored whether we can be sure if WhatsApp messages are actually end-to-end encrypted. We can’t, but I am more inclined to believe them now than I was back then. Not because I think they are the good guys, but because they are going to extreme lengths to monetize the app in other ways while maintaining that the messages are encrypted.

Yesterday, a pop-up message appeared asking me to agree to the new WhatsApp terms of service. If you actually read the new privacy policy, you find that not only will they be collecting information about you, your device and how you use the app, but they will also be able to share that information with its parent company, Facebook. Those who don’t agree to the new terms won’t be allowed to use WhatsApp after February 8.

Privacy and targeted-ads-based revenue models are incompatible. Anyone who, after this, still thinks that WhatsApp prioritizes privacy is a fool. Having encrypted messages while giving all other pieces of personal information away is like putting on some sunscreen before running into a burning building.