WhatsApp claims to offer end-to-end encryption. What this means is that messages are encrypted so that during transit, even if they were to be intercepted, it will not be readable. Instead, it only gets decrypted once it arrives on the intended device. Or at least that’s what they claim.
According to a somewhat damning report from ProPublica, it seems that WhatsApp’s claims of end-to-end encryption might not be 100% true. The report alleges that WhatsApp employs over 1,000 contractors from Dublin, Singapore, and Texas who use “special Facebook software” to examine user content.
These contractors then make judgments on the content that appears on their screen that includes all kinds of content ranging from fraud, spam, potential terrorist planning, and CSAM. WhatsApp has since sort of denied the allegations made in the report. The company’s director of communications Carl Woog told the publication that the contractors are only used to remove “the worst” abusers who use their platform to spread spam, threats, and more.
Facebook has also since issued a statement claiming that WhatsApp has been built in a way that limits the data they collect, which might be true, but it also means that some data can be collected.