When WhatsApp, the most popular mobile messaging app was acquired by Facebook, the most popular social network, there were rumors spreading around that the privacy of the users would not remain the same now. This kept growing more and more, before finally the CEO of WhatsApp had to say a word about it. In an update titled “Setting the record straight” on the WhatsApp blog, CEO Jan Koum shared everything about this and explained why the app wouldn’t save or share any personal data with the new owner.
Here’s an excerpt from the update from Jan Koum.
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.
He said it straight that he wouldn’t have partnered with Facebook if it all meant to change the values of the app. The team is still in the formation of a partnership where the WhatsApp team would be running individually and autonomously as they are doing right now, and the principles won’t change any time. He surely urges you not to be scared of the rumors saying that your personal data will be shared with others. It’s not going to happen, and your data stays with you. Make no mistake: our future partnership with Facebook will not compromise the vision that brought us to this point. Our focus remains on delivering the promise of WhatsApp far and wide, so that people around the world have the freedom to speak their mind without fear.
Read the entire message from the WhatsApp CEO: WhatsApp Blog