After popular messaging app was bought by Facebook for $16 billion, many users proclaimed they would delete the app to prevent their data from falling into the hands of Mark Zuckerberg’s social network. People had a right to be fearful especially given how Facebook is all about compiling user data (that users knowingly provide).
I’d like to set the record straight.
Above all else, I want to make sure you understand how deeply I value the principle of private communication. For me, this is very personal. I was born in Ukraine, and grew up in the USSR during the 1980s. One of my strongest memories from that time is a phrase I’d frequently hear when my mother was talking on the phone: “This is not a phone conversation; I’ll tell you in person.” The fact that we couldn’t speak freely without the fear that our communications would be monitored by KGB is in part why we moved to the United States when I was a teenager.
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.
Koum blasts how recent privacy speculation about it collecting your data is “baseless and unfounded” but also “irresponsible” because that’s not what they’re doing.
Are you still using WhatsApp after it was sold to Facebook? Or did you delete it?
Update: WhatsApp for iOS has been updated with new privacy settings and background wallpapers. Go to Settings > Account > Privacy to manage who can see your ‘Last Seen’ status, profile picture and more.