Facebook has apparently hired a team of researchers to analyze encrypted WhatsApp messages, allegedly for the purposes of selling more ads…
Facebook is reportedly working on a new project involving its messaging subsidiary, WhatsApp. Said project revolves around the encrypted communications sent through the platform. Because privacy is one of the most attractive and popular features of WhatsApp, it’s grown to two billion users. However, since those messages are secure, it’s very tricky to data-mine the text in order to deliver targeted advertising.
Report Reveals Facebook Hired Researchers to Data-Mine WhatsApp Messages for Ad Targeting
For communications between WhatsApp users to be of any real value, meaning ad revenue, Facebook is working on a way to analyze the messages without actually decrypting the texts, according to the report by The Information. This process is known as “homomorphic encryption,” or the ability to glean important data points from chats without violating users’ privacy.
Of course, the entire purpose of undertaking such an expensive and extensive venture would be to use the information to deliver targeted advertisements to users. If part of this sounds familiar, it’s somewhat similar to what Google is doing by ridding its Chrome browser of third-party cookie tracking, which records individual users’ browsing history to deliver targeted advertising. In that instance, Google would replace individual tracking with group interests.