WhatsApp boss in on-line spat with Elon Musk over message safety | EUROtoday

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WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart has hit again at claims from Elon Musk that the messaging app “exports your user data every night.”

Posting on X, Mr Cathcart mentioned the allegation was merely “not correct”.

He pointed to the very fact WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, which means they can’t be learn by the corporate in any respect.

Yann LeCun – synthetic intelligence chief at mum or dad firm, Meta – has additionally weighed in, utilizing extra industrial language in his X submit attacking Mr Musk’s claims.

On one other Meta platform, Threads, Mr LeCun additionally levelled additional criticisms at Mr Musk, accusing him of constructing contradictory and unrealistic claims about synthetic intelligence and “spewing conspiracy theories” on his personal social media platform.

Mr Musk has a well-established reptuation for getting himself into on-line rows, from submariners to sacked former workers.

In this case, Mr Cathcart is correct to say solely the sender and recipient of a WhatsApp message can learn its contents.

In truth, the agency’s dedication to encrypting messages is so important that it beforehand mentioned it could reasonably be blocked within the UK than weaken the encryption it makes use of.

Mr Musk’s imprecise language – merely saying that “user data” was being uploaded – may nonetheless be interpreted to consult with metadata, the additional bits of knowledge despatched alongside the precise message.

“WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, but user data is not only about messages,” mentioned safety researcher Tommy Mysk in a submit on X.

“That also includes the metadata such as user location, which contacts the user is communicating with, the patterns of when the user is online, etc.”

It is understood that WhatsApp does share some metadata with different platforms Meta owns – however this doesn’t embody messages.

“One area of particular concern has been WhatsApp sharing data with other Meta companies,” mentioned Dr Tristan Henderson, lecturer in laptop science on the University of St Andrews.

“This does include sufficient metadata for these Meta companies to make suggestions and show personalised adverts, which in itself shows what metadata can reveal.”

The WhatsApp Privacy Policy particularly states that the agency will use some consumer knowledge for “showing relevant offers and ads across the Meta Company Products”.

The BBC has approached Meta for remark.