WhatsApp Responds to Elon Musk’s Security Claims

WhatsApp Responds to Elon Musk's Security Claims

WhatsApp Responds to Elon Musk’s Security Claims

WhatsApp Responds to Elon Musk's Security Claims
  • Elon Musk’s Accusations: The Tesla CEO alleges on his social media platform that WhatsApp exports user data every night.
  • WhatsApp’s Response: Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp’s development and strategy, refutes the claim, emphasizing the app’s end-to-end encryption.
  • Security Researcher’s Insight: Tommy Mysk points out that while messages are encrypted, metadata such as user location and communication patterns can still be used for targeted ads within Meta services.
  • Context of the Accusation: This marks Musk’s second recent criticism of a messaging application, following prior claims against Signal.

In a recent exchange on social media, Elon Musk made allegations regarding the security practices of WhatsApp. The Tesla CEO took to his platform, X (formerly known as Twitter), to claim that WhatsApp exports user data every night.

Reposting another user’s 12-hour recap from last Saturday, Musk wrote, “WhatsApp exports your user data every night. Some people still think it is secure.”

Responding to Musk’s post, Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp’s development and strategy, stated, “Many have said this already, but worth repeating: this is not correct. We take security seriously, and that’s why we end-to-end encrypt your messages. They don’t get sent to us every night or exported to us.”

However, security researcher Tommy Mysk weighed in on the discussion, providing additional context. Mysk noted, “WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, but user data is not only about messages. That also includes metadata such as user location, which contacts the user is communicating with, the patterns of when the user is online, etc. This metadata, according to your privacy policy, is indeed used for targeted ads across Meta services. So @elonmusk is right.”

This event marks Musk’s second public critique of a messaging application in recent weeks. He had previously accused Signal of collaborating with the United States government.

The discourse highlights ongoing debates around privacy and data security, especially concerning popular messaging platforms. Both sides—Musk and WhatsApp—have presented arguments that underline the complexities of data security in the digital age.

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