Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ahead of WhatsApp-Facebook deal approval, concerns over privacy of users


 Facebook bought WhatsApp in a $19 billion deal last month. But the deal is far from done. It is yet to get the approval from various regulatory bodies around the world. On most occasions such deals are approved without any significant delay and that is likely to happen in this case as well. However, this is not stopping from some organisations to raise privacy concerns associated with Facebook acquiring Whatsapp data.

On March 6, a US-based privacy group asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to review, and if required block, the Facebook-WhatsApp deal to guard the privacy of over 450 million users who installed the app on their phones.

On March 9, a Competition Commission of India official reportedly said that the organization would meticulously scrutinize the deal.

The privacy concerns over Facebook acquiring WhatsApp are not new.

Three days after Facebook announced that it was buying WhatsApp, a user on Reddit submitted a link — titled "3 WhatsApp alternatives that respect your privacy" — to the website's Android section.

The link scored 99 points, which means around 68% of readers liked it. While the number is minuscule compared to the scale of Reddit, which saw over 112 million unique visitors in February, the link showed some WhatsApp users are worried about their privacy and don't trust Facebook when it comes to handling private and intimate information in their chats.