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WhatsApp vows to not become Facebook, no interest in personal data

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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WhatsApp vows to not become Facebook, no interest in personal data
Facebook’s planned acquisition of WhatsApp has been in the news pretty much nonstop. Of course, there have been no shortage of opinions offered about the price or how privacy concerns would be addressed given the dichotomy of the business models between Facebook, which makes its money from knowing your business, and WhatsApp, which does not.

Jan Koum, co-founder and CEO of WhatsApp, took to the company’s blog and made it known in no uncertain terms that WhatsApp was not going to become some data-mining apparatus of Facebook.

“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA,” according to Koum who is not big on the idea of overbearing screening of one’s personal communications, having grown up in the Soviet Union. WhatsApp has made its cornerstone the idea of not selling advertisements, not compiling personal data, and enable people to communicate freely without fear.

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.
-Jan Koum

Koun states that the deal with Facebook would not have happened if the company was going to have to change its principles, “Speculation to the contrary isn’t just baseless and unfounded, it’s irresponsible.” The notions that WhatsApp would become a new source of juicy data to be collected for the computer algorithms to process into advertisements are not unfounded given Facebook's business model.

Koun also notes that WhatsApp will continue to operate autonomously and that its model will not change.  That is somewhat comforting for those with privacy concerns, but at the same time, Koum and co-founder Brian Acton are not the owners any more.  After vesting of some of the stock involved in the acquisition is complete in four years, we could very well see some dramatic changes in some of how WhatsApp operates.

source: WhatsApp

9 Comments
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posted on 17 Mar 2014, 22:57 6

1. Topcat488 (Posts: 1140; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)


Facebook is YO daddy... You gonna see some changes alright, now go to your room! O.o

posted on 17 Mar 2014, 23:13 7

2. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 720; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Like Facebook is gonna pay that much money and doesnt expect a return in their investments. They also said they wouldn't sell their company.

posted on 17 Mar 2014, 23:21 4

3. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3197; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Wow that was a direct jab. I'm glad i gave up on facebook back in 2010.

posted on 17 Mar 2014, 23:51 2

4. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Whatsapp - you will have no say in it - Facebook is basically data mining software for the govt, and you will be, too...

posted on 17 Mar 2014, 23:52 1

5. AfterShock (Posts: 2798; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


I believe the sentiment, but that's it.

FB can go FI!

posted on 18 Mar 2014, 04:05

6. Snoobab (Posts: 174; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


So long WhatsApp... it's been a helluva ride.

posted on 18 Mar 2014, 04:43

7. alumoyo (Posts: 157; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)


And here come the usual "I don't use facebook, I'm uninstalling whatsapp" comments. Its like in the 90s when people would declare "I don't watch TV" to make themselves seem more sophisticated or smarter. Didn't work then, doesn't work now.

posted on 18 Mar 2014, 05:00

8. Ishmeet (Posts: 111; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


While I continue to use whatsapp for now, it's only for a time being, that I believe, it shall stay the same.
Same was told by Instagram team too, some time ago.
What we get to see is, IOS ui and styling is given to android apps and they are buggy as hell.
So long whatsapp, the journey was good, till you came under fb and now, I can just wait for an iOS7 like whatsapp on my android.

posted on 18 Mar 2014, 17:02

9. Blazers (Posts: 203; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


The previous owners can come out and say whatever they feel, but until facebook themselves comes out and says it, their words are meaningless.

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