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The newest billionaire on the block and co-founder of WhatsApp mobile messaging service, Jan Koum, expressed his co...
The newest billionaire on the block and co-founder of WhatsApp mobile messaging service, Jan Koum, expressed his concerns yesterday on privacy settings in a blog addressing users, called Setting The Record Straight.
The post was delivered with the intent to reassure users that the recent Facebook $19B purchase of WhatsApp would not affect the privacy and data collection policies already strongly established within the company's value system. “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible,” Koum reassured users.
Koum rejects “careless and inaccurate” speculations about potential privacy concerns, claiming he never would have allowed such a deal to be struck if there was the slightest doubt that the company's current values would not be respected or were to be amended in any way. “Make no mistake our future partnership with Facebook will not compromise the vision that brought us to this point,” Koum said.
According to Koum, the no data collection policy remains intact. The only data WhatsApp requires is a cell phone number, so information such as email addresses, home addresses, likes and dislikes, or GPS location are all irrelevant. As Koum puts it, “None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that.”
Incidentally, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced straight after the WhatsApp deal was concluded that he intended to abide by and respect the no ads policy of its founder, Koum.
Privacy security is justifiably a concern, especially after the NSA fiasco, where the privacy of Facebook users was compromised. As a newly Facebook-owned company, questions concerning privacy protection are unavoidable, and Koum, in the same fashion as Zuckerberg, attempted to iron out any dilemmas in a public post.