WhatsApp founder Jan Koum has insisted that his messaging service’s privacy policies will stay the same after it’s slurped by Facebook, while lamenting “baseless, unfounded and irresponsible” reports about how the social network may use users’ data.
“I want to make sure you understand how deeply I value the principle of private communication,” he reassured users of the popular texting app.
Koum said that the issue of privacy was “very personal” for him as someone who grew up in the USSR during the 1980s.
“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,” he said of his family.
WhatsApp has never collected additional personal details like names, addresses, emails or GPS data, unlike services provided by Apple, Google or Facebook. The messaging app holds mobile numbers but no other personal information. Yet users and privacy groups have expressed concern that this could change under its new management.