Intelligence and Investigation Talent Moves (15 January)

Ken Chan
4 min readJan 15, 2021

If you are a WhatsApp user in Hong Kong, you might find that your instant-messaging application is somehow quiet these days.

On 4 January, WhatsApp updated its terms and privacy policy to enable sharing user data with Facebook Inc, its parent company. Users will lose access to WhatsApp if they refuse to accept the new terms by 8 February.

It turns out that, many users decided to ban WhatsApp before WhatsApp could ban them. Encouraged by KOLs and peers, they “migrated” to other encrypted messaging platforms, most notably Telegram and Signal.

Signal was founded by Moxie Marlinspike and Brian Acton. Brian is also a co-founder of WhatsApp. The app has been endorsed by heavyweights including Elon Musk and Edward Snowden.

When Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, it promised that the app will operate independently. However, starting from 2016, WhatsApp has been sharing user information and metadata with Facebook. WhatsApp cofounders Brian Acton and Jan Koum left the company in 2017 and 2018 respectively.