Facebook WhatsApp Deal Under Mess: Regulators To Probe ‘Personal Data Use Policy’
Future of Zukerberg’s darling deal is in serious mess. Privacy advocates have told US regulators not to allow WhatsApp-Facebook acquisition until Facebook clears how it would take up the personal data of 450 million WhatsApp users worldwide. WhatsApp has been constantly following its privacy term to not to use user’s private data for advertising purposes. Post-acquisition the moot question surfaces that whether or not Facebook will follow the suit. Two US based non-profit groups namely Electronic Privacy Information Center and Center for digital democracy have lodged a complaint to Federal Trade Commission in this regard.
In their complaint they requested regulators to scrutinize the deal and investigate how Facebook is planning to manage user’s phone number and metadata. Facebook earns massive revenue by selling user’s age, sex and other attributes for advertisements. Facebook has promptly responded on the complaint and said that FB would respect the privacy terms that WhatsApp initiated with their users.
WhatsApp stores user’s mobile phone numbers but never asks for user name, email and other information like other solution providers. Despite repeated assurance by Facebook and WhatsApp to not to change policies, groups wrote in their complaint to the FTC filing that Facebook had already changed the Instagram privacy policies when acquired Instagram in 2012.
Groups wrote regulators to ask Facebook to keep WhatsApp user information away from their standard data collection practices.
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