Encrypted data had been the priority of users for quite a few years. It had also taken some political tone in the last couple of years. The debate on whether encryption is good for companies like Facebook remains. Even though they sell their products marketing its encryption, the company is planning to overlook some of its steps.
Data encryption allows sensitive data to be stored away from other people. There will always be some people who are keen to know about our preferences and other important data. These may include governments and companies apart from hackers and criminals. Some businesses too depend on it for targeted ads.
Facebook has been reportedly analyzing ways to extract some important data so that they can personalize their ads. Not only Facebook, but also Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are also spending their time looking for ways to take a peek at the encrypted data without actually decrypting it. This process is known as homomorphic encryption. It may result in weak encryption or some other backdoors to arrive at the encrypted data.
If found successful, then Facebook can bring in data for targeted advertising without going back on the company’s promise for encrypted data. The research is still ongoing and we are not sure of what will be the results. Large companies like the ones mentioned above will be benefited from this.
However, Facebook has clarified to The Information that they are not going to link this research with encrypted WhatsApp data anytime soon.