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WhatsApp co-founder assures users their privacy won't be affected by Facebook deal

The company’s co-founder Jan Koum said its goal is “knowing as little about you as possible” and it wouldn’t have accepted Facebook’s offer if they had to compromise its principles.
Mar 18th 2014, 9:45 AM 5,930 9

CONSIDERING FACEBOOK’S REPUTATION with privacy, speculation about whether WhatsApp privacy policy would change after being purchased for $16 billion emerged.

WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum wrote on the company’s blog to “set the record straight” addressing what he described as the “inaccurate and careless information circulating about” what the deal meant for users’ privacy.

Koum said that WhatsApp is built “around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible.” He mentions that it doesn’t collect any personal information from you when you sign up like your name, email, birthday or location and the company has “no plans to change that.”

If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn’t have done it. Instead, we are forming a partnership that would allow us to continue operating independently and autonomously…

Speculation to the contrary isn’t just baseless and unfounded, it’s irresponsible. It has the effect of scaring people into thinking we’re suddenly collecting all kinds of new data. That’s just not true, and it’s important to us that you know that.

WhatsApp originally came out and said none of its policies would change after the purchase was made and it had no plans to share data with Facebook. However, that hadn’t stopped people from speculating about the plans Facebook had for the app and how it would affect users in the long-term.

Also, the app has its own share of privacy issues after one security consultant found a way which would allow a third-party developer access a device’s messages on the Android version.

The app also added a new privacy features in its latest update on iOS allowing users to hide when they were last on the app and hide your profile from public view.

Read: WhatsApp, data compression and Snapchat: What we learned from Zuckerberg’s keynote >

Read: WhatsApp’s first move after its deal with Facebook? Adding voice calls >

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Quinton O'Reilly

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