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WhatsApp founder says privacy concerns after Facebook buyout are ‘unfounded’


Facebooks $16 billion buyout of WhatsApp last month was quickly followed by speculation about privacy for the apps more than 450 million users, given Facebooks own checkered history with privacy. Co-founder Jan Koum wrote on the WhatsApp blog today to set the record straight, describing speculation about the acquisition undermining how the company treats user data as not only baseless but irresponsible. Koum writes that WhatsApp was built around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible. Working under that philosophy, the app doesnt collect personal data like email addresses, birthdays, or locations — which Facebook already has access to, ironically — and Koum says the company has no plans to change that. In addition, the company has previously stated that it has no plans to share data with Facebook, and will remain completely autonomous. If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn’t have done it, he writes.

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