Most likely the deal of the year, the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook has managed to draw a lot of interest. Now, privacy groups are investigating this deal.
According to some privacy groups, Facebook’s messaging service collects data from its users, while WhatsApp has a strong commitment to user privacy.
This is why they are asking the US Federal Trade Commission to investigate this case and even block the deal between Facebook and WhatsApp.
The demand was formed by Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy.
They said that if Facebook collects data from users of WhatsApp, this will be a violation of the Federal Trade Commission rules.
Consequently, the privacy groups are asking the commission to either block the acquisition of WhatsApp or protect the users of the service from Facebook data collection. Until now, Facebook has said that the plan on making no changes to WhatsApp. The famous social network claimed that the privacy practice of the service will remain the same.
Still, Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy seem to be convinced that this acquisition will have a serious impact on the privacy of WhatsApp users. To make a point they even mentioned the purchase of Instagram, to which Facebook has changed privacy terms.
According to the two groups, what Facebook plans on doing is to integrate the personal data of users into its massive advertising business. And naturally this would not be fair for the clients of WhatsApp. They explained that Facebook has several times made various changes to the collection of data and their privacy terms, sharing user data for advertising purposes.
It is debated that WhatsApp users could have not anticipated that this service will be purchased by Facebook, which will use their personal data. WhatsApp is currently used by more than 450 million people. The service was first established in 2009.
Facebook already has a bad reputation of constantly changing user privacy policies, mostly when it comes to use and collection of data. However, the future plans of Facebook and the privacy of user data on WhatsApp remain unknown.
Until now, WhatsApp was designed in such a way that it allows users to be anonymous. The deal with Facebook might change that.