Privacy advocates want to halt Facebook’s WhatsApp acquisition

How Facebook plans to use WhatsApp’s data (Image credit: AP)
- Advertisement -

Privacy advocates have asked US regulators to halt Facebook Inc’s $19 billion acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp until there is a clearer understanding of how the company intends to use the personal data of WhatsApp’s 450 million users.

WhatsApp, a service that allows mobile phone users to send each other messages, has had a longstanding commitment to not collect user data for advertising purposes.

But there’s no guarantee that that commitment will hold true once the service becomes part of Facebook, according to the filing to the Federal Trade Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy, both non-profit groups.

The complaint asks regulators to investigate the deal “specifically with regard to the ability of Facebook to access WhatsApp’s store of user mobile phone numbers and metadata.”

Facebook, the world’s No.1 social network with 1.2 billion users, generates the majority of its revenue by showing ads that target users by age, gender and other traits.

“As we have said repeatedly, Whatsapp will operate as a separate company and will honor its commitments to privacy and security,” Facebook said in a statement in response to the filing. The FTC declined to comment.

Facebook stunned the technology industry last month when it announced its intention to buy the five-year old WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock. WhatsApp does not show ads on its service, charging some of its users a $1 annual fee to use the service.

WhatsApp stores users’ mobile phone numbers, but unlike many online services, it does not collect user names, emails, and other contact information.

Despite assurances by WhatsApp and Facebook that the privacy policies will not change, the groups that wrote the FTC filing note that Facebook has in the past amended an acquired-company’s privacy policies, such as the Instagram photo-sharing service that Facebook acquired in 2012.

Regulators must require that Facebook “insulate” WhatsApp user information from access by Facebook’s data collection practices, reads the complaint.

“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,” reads the filing.

Reuters

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

What is SLED, how realme gave TV industries a new look with the help of this technology?

Realme has also made a strong place in the TV segment after smartphones. The company has used SLED technology in its TV segment which...

PUBG Mobile will not return to India, PUBG Mobile Ban in India Permanent for now

PUBG News: Several Chinese apps were banned by the Indian government, including the popular Battle Royal game PUBG Mobile. The game had a large...

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G may be launch with the latest Snapdragon 750G processor, the report reveals

Samsung's upcoming smartphone Samsung Galaxy A42 5G has been in the discussion for a long time. Recently...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

43,178FansLike
535FollowersFollow
45,700SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Articles

What is SLED, how realme gave TV industries a new look with the help of this technology?

Realme has also made a strong place in the TV segment after smartphones. The company has used SLED technology in its TV segment which...

PUBG Mobile will not return to India, PUBG Mobile Ban in India Permanent for now

PUBG News: Several Chinese apps were banned by the Indian government, including the popular Battle Royal game PUBG Mobile. The game had a large...

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G may be launch with the latest Snapdragon 750G processor, the report reveals

Samsung's upcoming smartphone Samsung Galaxy A42 5G has been in the discussion for a long time. Recently...

How To Protect Your Smartphone From Hackers, then follow these Tips

protect your smartphone from hackers: Smartphone usage has increased sharply in the Corona era, so hacking cases...

Vivo launched its first Smartwatch Vivo Watch equipped with a heart rate and blood oxygen sensor

Vivo has launched its first smartwatch Vivo Watch. This latest smartwatch has been made available in 42mm...