The Importance of Metadata in WhatsApp

Whatsapp EncryptionThe phone messaging application; WhatsApp has started to encrypt all the conversations end-to-end. Would you really think that the most popular social networking site, Facebook allow the WhatsApp to flip away the business value after its acquisition in a 19 billion? Obviously, it wouldn’t. The snoop vale was in all the metadata shows that the awareness of who chat with whom, how, when and how much.

This week, there was big news in the privacy that the WhatsApp that was bought by Facebook, has added encryption to its end to end conversation in order to forbid government spooks to listen to our personal talks. This step tells us an immense about what kind of privacy is missing.

When we talk about privacy, we usually think in terms of what we chat, instead of thinking how we communicate it. If we examine the so called data retention laws, they are battered down as prohibited, which authorized to login to every kind of our communications leaving behind the actual content. It is same as so called metadata i.e.; how, when, where, with whom and for how long.

But, many people have questioned that the metadata is not free from privacy. As per the studies displayed from Germany earlier, people were already abstaining from making phone calls because those phone calls could be used against them near in the future.

If we think besides the superficial surface, it is quite obvious that this so called “metadata” is susceptible. Spy agencies have raised a question that they will never get to know about your talks. And, for sure if you make a phone call to a suicide hotline from the Golden Gate Bridge. Would a Spy organization really need to hear your all conversation in order to draw result about its contents? Or, suppose you have called a sex line on a Saturday night and around at 4:05 AM, talking for around 18 minutes. Now think and ask yourself that is it really a waterproof argument that the spy organizations can’t know anything about this conversation?

Just because of this reason, WhatsApp end to end encryption becomes so interesting. At this surface, the end to end encryption offers privacy against wiretapping and snooping. But Facebook, as we all know, have purchased the WhatsApp in 19 billion dollars, with a B. now, would you really think so that Facebook will allow WhatsApp to dismiss the business advantages after the closing of this deal?

No, obviously they wouldn’t. So, where is the importance?

In the metadata, it is in knowing that who talks with whom, when, how, where and how often. Probably, this information is much more susceptible or useful as compared to the actual content of your conversation. That’s why; Facebook paid 19 billion dollars to purchase WhatsApp, not for the actual messages.