WhatsApp’s “values and beliefs will not change”

A month after Facebook announced plans to acquire WhatsApp, the messaging service is ‘setting the record straight’ with regards to the deal.

In a blog post titled ‘Setting the record straight’, co-founder and CEO Jan Koum attempts to address concerns about how the transaction will impact the popular messaging app.

Koum discusses the “inaccurate and careless information circulating about what our future partnership would mean for WhatsApp users’ data and privacy.”

According to news site The Next Web, private communication is personally important to Koum since he grew up in the USSR during the 1980s, where his family couldn’t speak freely on the phone without fearing their communications would be monitored.

The post further explains that privacy is part of WhatsApp’s DNA: the app doesn’t ask for your name, email address, birthday, home address, where you work, your likes, what you search for on the Internet, nor your GPS location.

Since that data isn’t collected, it can’t be stored by WhatsApp. Koum says his company has “no plans to change that.”

‘If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn’t have done it,” says Koum, explaining that was part of his decision to let Facebook buy WhatsApp in the first place.

“Instead, we are forming a partnership that would allow us to continue operating independently and autonomously.

“Our fundamental values and beliefs will not change. Our principles will not change. Everything that has made WhatsApp the leader in personal messaging will still be in place. Speculation to the contrary isn’t just baseless and unfounded, it’s irresponsible.

“It has the effect of scaring people into thinking we’re suddenly collecting all kinds of new data. That’s just not true, and it’s important to us that you know that.”

Facebook and WhatsApp refer to the deal as a partnership and not a takeover or acquisition.

But the main question now remains as to whether WhatsApp customers trust Koum and his decision making more than Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook team.

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