WhatsApp deal off? Why? Privacy!!

Concerns were raised some time ago and following a complaint “WhatsApp built a user-base based on its commitment not to collect user data for advertising revenue….users provided detailed personal information to the company including private text to close friends. Facebook routinely makes use of user information for advertising purposes and has made clear that it intends to incorporate the data of WhatsApp users into the user profiling business model. The proposed acquisition will therefore violate WhatsApp users’ understanding of their exposure to online advertising and constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade practice, subject to investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.”

And the groups, which work on research and consumer protection online, asked the regulators to investigate the deal “specifically with regard to

“WhatsApp users could not reasonably have anticipated that by selecting a pro-privacy messaging service, they would subject their data to Facebook’s data collection practices.”

We await the news from the FTC with interest.

Michael Coyle

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