End-to-end encryption isn’t designed to secure messages against the intended recipients. New revelations about WhatsApp’s moderator access to messages last week might seem like they run counter to the company’s privacy-forward brand, but a closer look shows the messaging service’s privacy protections remain in place and are operating as intended. First, some background: A report from non-profit investigative journalism organization ProPublica reported that users can flag messages as abusive — and those messages will be sent to a moderator. The report positions the option for moderators to review messages as a security flaw, but data-security experts disagree with that characterization, explaining the distinction is that the intended user must initiate the review. This isn’t a violation of the promises of end-to-end encryption, experts explained to Threatpost, which WhatsApp has had in place since 2016. The platform has more than 2 billion users worldwide. Chris Hauk, who is a consumer privacy champion with Pixel Privacy, explained to Threatpost that this practice isn’t something he has a “problem” with, adding that once a user receives a message, “all bets are off as to sharing of the message.” Taylor Gulley with nVisium told Threatpost that he too agrees WhatsApp isn’t violating user privacy with its reporting feature. Trusted Sources Can Flag Messages for Moderation “Yes, WhatsApp is reviewing a lot of unencrypted messages, but it’s at the behest of a trusted party in…
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