The red disk, or the green disk? The choice is yours, Neo.

United Artists

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum asserted again in a blog post Monday that Facebook’s acquisition of his company does not mean that WhatsApp’s internal values will change. Koum called speculation that WhatsApp will turn traitor to its users’ data not just “baseless and unfounded” but “irresponsible,” countering the concerns of privacy advocates.
Since Facebook laid out its $19-billion plan to acquire WhatsApp, both users and expert onlookers have derided the partnership as an opportunity for Facebook to make a massive data-grab to correlate with its own user information troves. Last week, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission out of concern for how WhatsApp might treat its customers going forward, particularly when many of its users sought the app out for its commitment to privacy.

Per WhatsApp’s privacy policy, the company stores virtually no customer information, not even phone numbers—messages are associated with a phone number “dynamically” on each device, according to Koum.

The only thing the company stores are messages that go undelivered, which are deleted after 30 days.

The FTC complaint focuses on the importance of giving notice to WhatsApp’s customers if its backend practices were to change and concerns that those practices are likely to change given its new owner.

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