17
Mar
WhatsApp-Thumb

Last month Facebook bought WhatsApp for way too much money, making the app's developers very wealthy individuals. This deal, theoretically, gives Facebook access to the data provided by the app's nearly half a billion users. The companies behind the social network and the instant messenger have both promised that WhatsApp will continue to operate autonomously, but this hasn't completely alleviated privacy concerns. Thus WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum has shared a blog post aimed at "setting the record straight."

In it he states:

Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don’t have to give us your name and we don’t ask for your email address. We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address. We don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for on the internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that.

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. Our fundamental values and beliefs will not change. Our principles will not change. Everything that has made WhatsApp the leader in personal messaging will still be in place. Speculation to the contrary isn’t just baseless and unfounded, it’s irresponsible. It has the effect of scaring people into thinking we’re suddenly collecting all kinds of new data. That’s just not true, and it’s important to us that you know that.

The blog does little to detail WhatApps' security practices behind the scenes. Still, at the very least, you've again heard straight from the horse's mouth a promise that your WhatsApp account and your Facebook profile won't soon become one in the same. Now, back to those upcoming voice calls.

Source: WhatsApp

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Amer Khaznadar

    I came here planning to post a joke, but after seeing WhatsAppSniffer in the "you might also like" section I think there's nothing more to say really.

  • Guest

    sure...

    • Adam

      What's done cannot be undone.
      They should think about it BEFORE they accept Facebook offers, not after that.

  • Calvin Uijlen

    I'll just keep using Hangouts, Whatsapp is just shit.

    • Kostas

      Becauuuuuuuuuuuse...?

      • Calvin Uijlen

        No video/audiocalling, no desktop/tablet client, no read icon..

        • Histirea

          They're implementing audio calls, but it's hard to argue with the other points when even Telegram has a desktop client and a read marker.

    • dsgv

      Uhm, no. WhatsApp is one of the most used messaging apps in the world, and Hangouts is shit

  • http://rayshq.com/ Ray

    Sorry, but regardless of what the CEO says, while WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, I can not and will not trust them.

    Selling to Facebook killed WhatsApp for me.

    • Themask007

      He should have written this in end - "Courtesy - facebook"

    • troll

      lol.. who cares about you. billions of people are still going to use it.

      • http://twitter.com/_vinr vinothr

        Billions? LOL. Let's be honest here, Facebook killed WhatsApp. Anything Facebook touches, people flee. Harsh truth that Suckerberg and goons should learn to realize.

  • Kingu Prima

    any news about hemlis messenger ?

  • darkdude1

    Of course, and since we are living in an age where we believe every word a CEO says....

  • Jensen

    Poor jan must be super nieve. Facebook is not your business partner - they bought you, so they are now your boss. Like it or not, you now will be doing what they say.

    • sssgadget

      Right? Facebook paid gazzllion dollars so that Whatsapp can operate independently and autonomously /s

      • RiTCHiE

        Yea FB = EVIL!!! Guess Jan is blinded by the devil heheh.

      • WORPspeed

        Exactly my thoughts......they spend billions of dollars so not use any of the data nor change the app......I'll be over here with the BBM/Hangouts crowd (Not that Hangouts is any less sensitive, but Google already knows everything about me, adding Hangouts doesn't give them anything new xD unlike with Facebook where I try to keep em in the dark much)

    • TY

      If he can make such a strong statement, I believe they have signed a contract of some sort? Doesn't that make sense?

  • Sean

    "It has the effect of scaring people into thinking we’re suddenly collecting all kinds of new data." No - you're just selling the data you collect in the first place. Who really things, that FB dropped this amount of money for not changing anything is just naive

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      And here I was thinking Facebook just sells the ad space! But yeah, I should have known that Facebook sells personal data, I mean just like you get all the information about people living in the area when you buy ad space on a bill board, right?

  • Daniel Traynor

    I don't believe it.

  • EGilk

    If they had to change their values they wouldn't have done the deal? Not for $19,000,000,000? Ha

  • Ricky

    *laughs and download Telegram*

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      Because an completely free Russian WhatsApp clone which uses an proprietary security protocol which according to security expert is rather lackluster sure wouldn't do anything with your data, right?

      Where do you think Telegram gets the money from to run their servers? Hopes and dreams?

      • Phoenix

        Would you kindly provide a source? Who are these security experts? There was a Telegram competition going on with a fairly high bounty and nobody broke it. I don't dispute what you're saying, just would like to know with more certainty if there is actually anything bad about Telegram?

        • Wesley Modderkolk

          http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/49782/is-telegram-secure
          http://thoughtcrime.org/blog/telegram-crypto-challenge/
          http://unhandledexpression.com/2013/12/17/telegram-stand-back-we-know-maths/

          Searching Google for this yields quite a bit results. I'm no security expert whatsoever, but i know very well that creating your own encryption protocol from scratch for no apparent reason is a bad idea. It could be doable if they had the qualifications(but it still would be pointless), but according to the links, they have not.

          I have my doubts on it's security, and certainly compared to well established services who are in the spotlight and will have huge losses when it is clear their product is full of security holes. Telegram is much less in the spotlight on that, and thus has less to fear, which gives them room to maneuver(Snapchat, anyone?).

          This is just another one of those apps that takes use of user's stupidity by playing in on their wish for "privacy" and "security".

        • Dmitri Smirnov

          This competition is a complete and utter sham that proves only that small-time hackers won't be able to read your messages.

          Since all data passes through their server and they are free to look at it and whatever they please - that's the true vulnerability.

      • Damon Salvador

        Wesley , Buddy , U made my day . Dt was hillarious . yet a powerful statement !!

    • guest
  • ShahinTr

    Errrrrrrr......Mr. CEO Jan Koum, you don't own it anymore, Zuckenberg does. You enjoy your holidays now. Goodbye.

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    I still do not get why people are constantly complaining about Facebook(and affiliates like instagram(yeah, people forgot about that apparently)) and their privacy, yet no one is bothered by Twitter having your location on by default(and it does not notify of that if I'm correct) and having the ability to search on tweets in your region. It is unclear to me why that would be okay, but Facebook making privacy settings rather clear is not. And yes, both make their money on personalized advertisements.

    For anyone who wants to search people near them; https://twitter.com/search-advanced

  • neo

    lol. anything Facebook owned turns into data mining & anti-privacy. why I don't use Facebook now. never did actually.

  • Christopher Bement

    PrivacyTM

  • HolyFreakingCrap

    The second I read Whatsapp got bought by facebook it immediately came off all my devices. This CEO blowing smoke up peoples ass isnt going to change that for me and I suspect many others.

  • RiTCHiE

    This is called damaging controle. But this shows me enough tho... Whatscrap is done! Been on Telegram now for couple of weeks and i like it way more then whatsapp already. Now i can send 1080p movie's without a problem.

    • Dmitri Smirnov

      Did telegram also improve your performance in bed and got you a 2M dollar yearly income for surfing the web?
      Or are the 1080p movies 30 secons long?

      • RiTCHiE

        Well it kinda did. My video's are around 2-5 minutes. But Telegram has 1 gb limit so i could record even longer then that. But i'm missing the 2M on my bank tho... you can help me with that?

  • RiTCHiE

    DAMAGE CONTROL! Like FB pays 19 billion then all users leave.... i call that KARMA!

  • GraveUypo

    hm... ok. i'm not concerned with them collecting new data, just with them coss-referencing them with the data they already have on facebook.

  • primalxconvoy

    I trust him. After all, Instagram didn't destroy privacy settings after Facebook bought them. Oh, wait...

  • david

    haha, he has some nerve to call his users who have doubts "irresponsible", hasn't he?

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      Where does he do that?

      • david

        "Everything that has made WhatsApp the leader in personal messaging will still be in place. Speculation to the contrary isn’t just baseless and unfounded, it’s irresponsible."

        • Wesley Modderkolk

          He doesn't call anyone other than people who jumped ship out of absolutely nothing to different providers which claim "privacy" as their selling point irresponsible. On which he is completely right by the way.

          Jumping ship and trusting some weird company no one ever heard about because they say they respect your privacy is pretty much irresponsible, and so is judging the whole company just because someone else brought it with no information to support the suggestion, not to mention most of the people complaining have a Facebook account, which makes it also ironic.

          • david

            my views are similar to yours, but where the hell does he say all that?
            i really don't understand why you care so much.

            he very clearly said that speculating that whatsapp will change its privacy policy is irresponsible.

            i get that you're pumped up by this whole outrage about whatsapp being bought, so am i.

            but it has nothing to do with my original post. calm down, man.

          • Wesley Modderkolk

            Seems like our take on those words is a bit different.

            I read it's speculation as in doubting the privacy and thus jumping ships out of this assumption. On which I agree, is quite irresponsible.

          • david

            well, not more irresponsible than signing up for whatsapp, that is.

  • Superpower

    Besides the fact that they are owened by FB now.

    What the CEO didn't say: What are they doing with the content of our conversations. He didn't say anything about that.

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      Why would they when nothing has changed?

  • petp

    The [CEO] doth protest too much, methinks

  • Willie D

    When a company comes out and says something like this, it means, "...for now, but next month, everything is changing.."

    At the end of the day, people argue with me that Google uses my information as well, but I know what they are using it for, I dont know why Facebook needs or wants so much information of mine as they never tell us what they want it for. THAT alone means I wont use it anymore.

  • spewak

    As soon as the news broke that Facebook purchased WhatsApp, WhatsApp was deleted from phone. It's only a matter of time that Facebook compromises privacy within the app.

  • Juaquin42

    Damage control. Facebook probably isn't happy about the number of people switching and that's where this is coming from.