FTC Approves WhatsApp, Facebook Deal

One month after Facebook announced its plan to acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given its approval -- under one condition. WhatsAppEUs privacy policies must remain the same unless consumers provide their informed consent.

The FTC made its ruling after privacy organizations in the U.S. wrote to the agency with concerns about exactly what Facebook planned to do with WhatsAppEUs user data.

Facebook has not had a great record when it comes to protecting user information, as some people have argued that the social network exploits data for advertising purposes. As a result, even some of WhatsAppEUs users were worried when the acquisition was announced, since WhatsApp has always tried to protect user privacy. Now that the FTC has made it clear that all changes require authorization, there is less potential for exploitation.

Enforcing The Law

As long as Facebook respects the privacy policy that WhatsApp has vowed to protect since the acquisition was first announced, the FTC will allow the deal to go through. Section 5 of the FTC Act already takes care of the exploitation of user data but since the two companies have completely different privacy policies, the government organization felt that it was necessary to reiterate what Facebook can and cannot do with WhatsApp.

Jessica Rich, the director of the FTCEUs Department of Consumer Protection, wrote a letter to the legal counsels for both WhatsApp and Facebook informing them of the reasons user privacy must remain intact. In the letter, Rich referenced WhatsAppEUs privacy policy as well as statements from both companies that have been released during the past month. She used those to show that Facebook has a legal and ethical requirement to respect WhatsAppEUs policy and its users.

EUWhatsApp must continue to honor these promises to consumers. Further, if the acquisition is...

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FTC Approves WhatsApp, Facebook Deal

One month after Facebook announced its plan to acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given its approval -- under one condition. WhatsAppEUs privacy policies must remain the same unless consumers provide their informed consent.

The FTC made its ruling after privacy organizations in the U.S. wrote to the agency with concerns about exactly what Facebook planned to do with WhatsAppEUs user data.

Facebook has not had a great record when it comes to protecting user information, as some people have argued that the social network exploits data for advertising purposes. As a result, even some of WhatsAppEUs users were worried when the acquisition was announced, since WhatsApp has always tried to protect user privacy. Now that the FTC has made it clear that all changes require authorization, there is less potential for exploitation.

Enforcing The Law

As long as Facebook respects the privacy policy that WhatsApp has vowed to protect since the acquisition was first announced, the FTC will allow the deal to go through. Section 5 of the FTC Act already takes care of the exploitation of user data but since the two companies have completely different privacy policies, the government organization felt that it was necessary to reiterate what Facebook can and cannot do with WhatsApp.

Jessica Rich, the director of the FTCEUs Department of Consumer Protection, wrote a letter to the legal counsels for both WhatsApp and Facebook informing them of the reasons user privacy must remain intact. In the letter, Rich referenced WhatsAppEUs privacy policy as well as statements from both companies that have been released during the past month. She used those to show that Facebook has a legal and ethical requirement to respect WhatsAppEUs policy and its users.

EUWhatsApp must continue to honor these promises to consumers. Further, if the acquisition is...

Comments are closed.