Privacy Groups in US has made a call to US Federal Trade Commission for investigating the $19 billion deal Facebook made to buy WhatsApp Inc. In the favor of end user privacy, US-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) urged US anti-trust body to investigate by filing a complaint against the same.
While Facebook Inc. have most of its revenue from advertisements targeting users of different ages, groups, countries and societies,
the complaint stated, “This complaint concerns the impact on consumer privacy of the proposed acquisition of WhatsApp, Inc. by Facebook, Inc. As set forth in detail below,WhatsApp built a user base based on its commitment not to collect user data for advertising revenue. Acting in reliance on WhatsApp representations, Internet users provided detailed personal information to the company including private text to close friends. Facebook routinely makes use of user information for advertising purposes and has made clear that it intends to incorporate the data of Whats App users into the user profiling business mode”.
For those who don’t know, WhatsApp is a cross platform messaging service and being very famous in eastern countries like India, WhatsApp has proved to be a free alternative over sending a traditional chargeable text. With every user verified with its mobile number, WhatsApp has about 450 million users in all and the app promises to delete messages once delivered, means it keeps no record and offers an advertisement free service for as low as a dollar per year.
Facebook with a base of almost 1.2 billion users, tracks their internet activity to target ads, with more number of advertisements in the news feed, company seems to emerge into an advertisement website offering other features as a social networking website.
While there is no strong evidence, users believe to have targeted with the advertisements which they had never looked on the web, but have discussed it with friends or relatives on the WhatsApp, clearly showing that Facebook is analyzing WhatsApp chat for targeting ads.