Google struck a deal with Facebook to access millions of private messages and images from WhatsApp users, shortly after the latter obtained the application.
These claims are made according to For a lawsuit Announced several days ago by the attorney general of Texas.
The lawsuit against Google’s advertising activity makes many allegations, such as The existence of a long-standing secret deal between Google and Facebook to defuse the rivalry.
The claim specified on page 57 of the complaint comes, and the section has been substantially revised, but it unequivocally claims the existence of an exclusive agreement between Google and Facebook that grants Google access to users’ WhatsApp messages.
This claim is unusual. Because the WhatsApp application is end-to-end encrypted, which means that Facebook did not have access to the user’s messages at the time of acquisition – Unlike a service, like Gmail, Google keeps all messages on its servers, and it can scan them en masse.
This should make it impossible for Facebook to grant this kind of access to another company; Because it does not have access by default, it is forbidden End-to-end encryption violates user privacy in this way.
And according to For interpretation Presented by (Alex Stamos) Alex Stamos, the clip refers to the optional WhatsApp backup, which is saved in Google Drive for Android users, and iCloud for iOS users.
“I can’t imagine Google pulling backups from Google Drive for ads, it’s crazy,” Stamos said.
Google makes it easy for Android users to store WhatsApp backups within Google Drive, but there is nothing exclusive about the deal.
IOS users can store backups via iCloud as well, and the backup is only created if the user requests it.
Neither Google nor Facebook provided an official statement due to the sensitivity of the ongoing legal process, but both denied any exclusive deal to share WhatsApp user data.
Google also pointed to a previous statement from Sundar Pichai, in which the CEO committed to not using Google Drive data for advertising.
Pichai wrote in June: We do not sell your information to anyone, and we do not use the information in applications where you primarily store personal content, such as: Gmail, Calendar and Photos, for advertising purposes.
The lawsuit came after months of investigations with Google and Facebook, and almost certainly revealed information that had not been made public. But revisions and general confusion around the issue make it difficult to know the correct information.
The idea of a covert deal to access millions of private messages is a matter of concern that cannot be ignored, but it is equally alarming to accept it without clear proof, especially when it conflicts with a lot of known information about how these systems work.