WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum to quit

Prince Felipe of Spain Meets Whatsapp Founder Jan Koum And His Wife

The two men, both privacy advocates who started their encrypted messaging app almost a decade ago, joined Facebook after it acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $22 billion, making them both billionaires.

Facebook has been accused of being lax and allowing the transfer of its users' information to companies who then target them with ads, along with revelations of Russian election manipulation in the USA, fake news, data leaks and more.

Koum did not reveal when exactly he would depart the company.

Facebook bought the mobile messaging service in 2014 for $16 billion, and at the time Koum said the deal would change "nothing" for WhatsApp users.

The head of popular messaging service WhatsApp is planning to leave the company because of a reported disagreement over how parent company Facebook is using customers' personal data.

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Shortly after the report from The Washington Post, Koum confirmed his departure on Facebook, writing that his newfound free time will allow him to spend time doing other things, such as "collecting rare air-cooled Porsches".

WhatsApp is free to users and has long eschewed advertising-the main source of Facebook's business-leaving it with little or no revenue.

"It's been nearly a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it's been an awesome journey with some of the best people", Koum said in his post.

Facebook scrapped WhatsApp's annual fee but Mr Koum and Mr Zuckerberg ruled out advertising on WhatsApp. Facebook and WhatsApp declined to comment on Koum's departure.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also responded to Koum's post, saying he would miss working closely with him.

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He said he would still be cheering WhatsApp on from the outside.

In 2014, Facebook acquired the text messaging, group messaging, voice, and video calling app from Koum and co-founder Brian Acton for $19 billion. "Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp". Neither WhatsApp, Facebook, nor third parties can see the content of messages, without access to the sender or recipient's device. But Zuckerberg has reportedly pushed WhatsApp to "move faster" to grow its business base, despite scrutiny from the United Kingdom government about its privacy policy as well European Commission surrounding the company.

The clash becomes more apparent considering WhatsApp's pledge to users that in selling to Facebook, the company would preserve the independence and protection of user data - a promise it backed further by adding encryption in 2016, the Post notes.

-Kirsten Grind contributed to this article.

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