The founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, has issued a warning to users of popular messaging app, WhatsApp to delete the app from their smartphones to prevent their messages and photos from being leaked.

A recent vulnerability in the messaging app was discovered, with WhatsApp urging users to update their apps to the latest version to fix the issue.

Previously, a video from India reportedly allowed hackers to access users’ messages if the video was opened from the app, with the Facebook-owned company saying that the latest version of WhatsApp has patched this vulnerability. At the time, WhatsApp said that it had “no reason” to believe that users’ phones were affected, although the company acknowledged the issue.

The Telegram founder has drawn attention to WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook’s alleged links with surveillance programs on his Telegram channel that has 335,000 followers.

Pavel Durov said, “Facebook has long been part of surveillance programs, long before it acquired WhatsApp. Unless you are cool with all of your photos and messages becoming public one day, you should delete WhatsApp from your phone.”

When WhatsApp was sold to Facebook, its original founder, Brian Acton, said that he sold [his] users privacy to a larger benefit, with initial worries mainly revolving around the monetisation of the messaging app with ads. Durov said that the data leaked from such backdoors - just like the recent Pegasus breach - will end up being shared by American agencies with governments from other countries.

Facebook, of course, has been the subject of scrutiny for its data-related practises. And WhatsApp has admitted that spyware has been installed on phones via its software in the past although that may also be down to gaps in a smartphone’s operating system.

For now, it’s highly advisable to update your WhatsApp to the latest version or use another messaging app in the meantime.