- Aug 10, 2014
WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messenger that claims to have privacy coded into its DNA, is giving its 2 billion plus users an ultimatum: agree to share their personal data with the social network or delete their accounts.
Under the new terms, Facebook reserves the right to share collected data with its family of companies.
- User phone numbers
- Other people’s phone numbers stored in address books
- Profile names
- Profile pictures and
- Status message including when a user was last online
- Diagnostic data collected from app logs
Facebook is also currently being sued by the FTC for anticompetitive conduct.
The FTC is seeking a permanent injunction in federal court that could, among other things: require divestitures of assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp; prohibit Facebook from imposing anticompetitive conditions on software developers; and require Facebook to seek prior notice and approval for future mergers and acquisitions.
The complaint alleges that, by 2012, WhatsApp had emerged as the clear global “category leader” in mobile messaging. Again, according to the complaint, Facebook chose to buy an emerging threat rather than compete, and announced an agreement in February 2014 to acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion. Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp allegedly both neutralizes the prospect that WhatsApp itself might threaten Facebook’s personal social networking monopoly and ensures that any future threat will have a more difficult time gaining scale in mobile messaging.