While Apple has held the unenviable lime-light over digital privacy lately, they are not alone. Today WhatsApp announced that, like Apple’s iMessage service, WhatsApp service will feature end-to-end encryption. As a result, they’ll be unable to monitor your messages and unable to respond to any Government subpoena. Even more importantly to most of us, hackers also will have no vector to read our private WhatsApp communications.
I can’t help but think that the FBI/Apple dispute of the last few months had the effect of raising this issue generally in the public conscious and companies like Apple and WhatsApp are going to continue to push forward on writing code that excludes them from reading their own user’s data.
The interesting part will be the companies that are not taking these steps and not trumpeting their efforts to secure their networks. There will providers that don’t bother for reasons like the fact that this is pretty hard or they may need to read your data to monetize or they don’t want to get tarred and feathered the way Apple did a few months ago. Either way, I think there is a divergence approaching and as users, we’d be wise to know which of our service providers are taking data security seriously and which are not.