WhatsApp CEO: User Privacy To Stay Intact Post-Facebook

The acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook will not change its approach to user privacy, CEO Jan Koum reassured users in a company blog post Monday. In the post, "Setting The Record Straight," Koum said the app did not collect basic user information in the first place and that even if it did, its privacy protections would remain unchanged, ensuring that user data is not viewed as a commodity.

"You don't have to give us your name and we don't ask for your e-mail address," he said. "We don't know your likes, what you search for on the Internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that."

The $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook is one of the largest in history, particularly within the tech sector. Due to the sheer size of the deal, many privacy experts concluded Facebook would likely exploit the messenging app's user data.

Private Communication

One thing WhatsApp users have said they liked about the service is the privacy it provides. Although there is a significant amount of metadata collected by the app, messages themselves are generally considered to be private since they are not stored. This means that, at least in comparison with regular text messaging apps, conversations on WhatsApp are somewhat private and secure.

Koum's blog post centered on his promise that all of WhatsApp's pro-privacy policies users have come to expect would not go away.

"If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn't have done it." Koum said. "Our fundamental values and beliefs will not change. Our principles will not change. Everything that has made WhatsApp the leader in personal messaging will still be in place."

A Lot of Data

WhatsApp collects more information...

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