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Thursday, March 06, 2014
Groups Ask FTC To Stop Facebook's WhatsApp Deal

Privacy advocates have asked U.S. regulators to halt Facebook's $19 billion acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp, due to data privacy concerns.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy have filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission concerning Facebook's proposed purchase of WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is a messaging service that gained popularity based on its strong pro-privacy approach to user data. WhatsApp currently has 450 million active users.

The complaint concerns the impact on consumer privacy of the proposed acquisition of WhatsApp. EPIC said that WhatsApp built a user base based on its commitment not to collect user data for advertising revenue. However, "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 model," the complaint reads.

"As we have said repeatedly, Whatsapp will operate as a separate company and will honor its commitments to privacy and security," Facebook said in a statement.

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