Apr 30, 2018

WhatsApp founder leaves the Facebook-owned service

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum. Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images for Discovery

WhatsApp founder and chief executive Jan Koum is leaving the company more than four years after it was bought by Facebook following what the Washington Post, which broke the story, describes as fights with the social giant over data privacy issues.

Why it matters: Koum's departure comes as Facebook faces scrutiny from users and regulators over its treatment of consumer data — and right before its F8 developer conference.

What Koum is saying: "It's been almost a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it's been an amazing journey with some of the best people," he said in a Facebook post. "But it is time for me to move on."

Backstory: WhatsApp has long made resistance to harvesting user data a part of its brand, and the instant messaging service encrypts users' messages by default. But Facebook has looked in recent years for ways to monetize the platform.

Friend request: Mark Zuckerberg responded to the goodbye note in a Facebook comment:

"I will miss working so closely with you. I'm grateful for everything you've done to help connect the world, and for everything you've taught me, including about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems and put it back in people's hands. Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp."

Our thought bubble: Most telling will be Facebook's actions, not Zuckerberg's words. It will be worth watching if Facebook uses encryption in more of its products, or if WhatsApp instead becomes more commercial along the lines of Facebook and Instagram.

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In photos: Protesters and police clash nationwide over George Floyd

A firework explodes behind a line of police officers next to the Colorado State Capitol during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Denver on May 30. Photo : Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd continued nationwide into early Sunday.

The big picture: Police responded over the weekend with force, in cities ranging from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Denver and Louisville. Large crowds gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday for the fifth day in a row.

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Massive demonstrations put police response to unrest in the spotlight

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The response of some officers during demonstrations against police brutality in the U.S. has been criticized for being excessive by some officials and Black Lives Matter leaders.

Why it matters: The situation is tense across the U.S., with reports of protesters looting and burning buildings. While some police have responded with restraint and by monitoring the protests, others have used batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and other devices to disperse protesters and, in some cases, journalists.