Facebook may be working on analysing encrypted data without deciphering it, here’s why – Times of India

End-to-end encryption is said to be the cornerstone of user privacy. WhatsApp is one of the most popular platforms to use end-to-end encryption for user data. Now, a report has emerged that says that Facebook — which owns WhatsApp — is looking for ways to analyse encrypted user data without actually deciphering it.
According to a report by The Information, the social media giant is working on recruiting artificial intelligence researchers to look into the matter.

How and why does Facebook plan to do this?

One of the key reasons could be to target ads based on encrypted user data, which could further boost company’s revenues. The report says that the particular area of research Facebook is looking into is called homomorphic encryption and it relies quite a lot on mathematics. What homomorphic encryption does is that it it allows companies like Facebook to analyse the encrypted data without actually knowing the contents of it. It would also protect user data from cybercriminals and maintain privacy as well. Reportedly, Microsoft, Amazon, Google have also been working on this.
Facebook hasn’t clarified anything about this new idea. However, the company told The Information that is is “too early for us to consider homomorphic encryption for WhatsApp at this time.”
The plan if it materialises could help Facebook a lot. For a company that often finds itself in the firing line over user privacy, this would give it an edge to show that user privacy remains paramount. As mentioned earlier, it would help the company in targeted ads, which is a big source of revenue. The report, however, states that it could take quite a while for Facebook to effectively utilise homomorphic encryption.

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