What happens when a social networking giant buys the world’s famous messaging client? People start speculating, spreading rumors and of course, wonder why the giant bought the messenger. This is exactly what happened with Facebook’s purchase of Whatsapp and given that it’s the costliest purchase of a tech company in history, experts as well as users just can’t figure why as to someone would pay $19 billion for a company that does not even have hundred employees.
Post Facebook’s purchase, it has not been easy for Whatsapp. The transaction has received mixed reactions and many people are now worried about their privacy. The once famous messaging platform for its secured and transparent service is now accused of having several flaws. In fact, a recent blog post from a well-known developer even shows how to steal user database by exploiting a major flaw in the app.
While these concerns are now threatening the service, the company’s CEO Jan Koum has come forward to assure users about the company’s privacy policies. In a blog post titled, ‘Setting the record straight‘, he tries to explain how the company values a user’s private information. The blog post starts off with Koum explaining how concerned he was about privacy when living in Ukraine during the 1980s and why he had to shift to US.
He further goes on to say that Whatsapp never stores private details like birthdays, emails, addresses and hence, users don’t have to worry about privacy.
An excerpt from the blog post is given below.
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 further adds that the acquisition from Facebook changes none of the principles on which the service was built. In fact, according to him, if partnering with the social networking giant meant making changes to the company’s principles, then he would never have merged. In short, Koum tries to assure users that Whatsapp still doesn’t collect user information and everything that has made the company a leader in personal messaging would still be in place.
While these words are comforting to some extent, there are still some flaws in the app which can be used to exploit the user’s private data. So, unless the company makes the app more secured, users may still be concerned about their privacy.