Wouldn’t it be great if the government could track down child abusers on chat apps like WhatsApp, and then have them arrested, making your child safer? How would you feel if the cost of that protection means you’ll lose your privacy, as all your chats and direct messages will be scanned by the government? That’s the latest discussion that ensued on BBC with WhatsApp owner, Will Cathcart.
It’s not a secret that the U.S. government has been trying to make a stand against sexual offenders on chat apps like WhatsApp. According to them, that’s where child abusers do most of their dirty work. In a discussion with BBC, Will Cathcart outlined how the government asked to be allowed to scan direct messages and images to find these offenders.
While Cathcart understands the proposed purpose of the request, WhatsApp refuses to weaken security protocols and invade everyone’s privacy due to child abusers. That means that even innocent people’s messages are no longer safe, and you won’t be able to keep your grandma’s sponge cake recipe from the government anymore.
There was mention of a term called “client-side scanning.” What it effectively involves is WhatsApp’s people doing the scanning, and then reporting child abusers to the government. While that’s all good and well, it still means that everyone’s privacy is being invaded. If WhatsApp has to do it for one country, they need to do it worldwide.
Can you imagine how that would open the doors to other requests? Companies wanting to scan employee discussions, and the government wanting to see what people’s thoughts are on the upcoming voting polls. It’s ironic how everyone actually believed the government was already spying on their chats and running to VPNs, when it seems the government actually has no sight on your chats at all.
In more positive news, WhatsApp is bringing Waveforms forms to the PC beta version, so you’ll be able to have lengthy voice conversations about how the government wants to take away your WhatsApp privacy rights.