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Privacy groups ask regulators to halt Facebook’s $19 billion WhatsApp deal

07
Mar
2014

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Privacy advocates have asked U.S. regulators to halt Facebook Incs $19 billion acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp until there is a clearer understanding of how the company intends to use the personal data of WhatsApps 450 million users. But theres no guarantee that that commitment will hold true once the service becomes part of Facebook, according to the filing to the Federal Trade Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy, both non-profit groups. The complaint asks regulators to investigate the deal specifically with regard to the ability of Facebook to access WhatsApps store of user mobile phone numbers and metadata. Facebook, the worlds No.1 social network with 1.2 billion users, generates the majority of its revenue by showing ads that target users by age, gender and other traits.

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