In the TED talk “The future of digital communication and privacy.”, Will Cathcart, the head of Whatsapp, talks about the effects and consequences of transitioning to an almost entirely digital communication medium.
One aspect Cathcart talks about is security, which is something he says is extremely important and that ‘end-to-end encryption’ is necessary so people can continue to communicate online without the possibility and fear of being watched. However, Cathcart then goes on to say that Whatsapp finds and detects child pornography and reports the affiliated users, which is something Apple recently came under intense scrutiny for proposing and the fact that Whatsapp does this sounds a bit contradictory.
Cathcart then goes on to talk about the balance between security and privacy, which he also thinks is important. He makes the point that not everything that can be done to ensure security should be done, putting a camera and microphone in everyone’s living room, for example.
I think it sounds like Cathcart does a good job at seeing the potential issues that communications apps can cause. I also like how WhatsApp puts such a strong emphasis on encryption because that is one of the most important lines of defense in privacy from other people and from the government. One fact that I saw a few months ago about WhatsApp is that their encryption algorithm has not yet been cracked by the CIA, which really goes to speak for where WhatsApp invests its resources.