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Whatsapp deal questioned



Privacy lobby wants investigation

Privacy advocates have asked US regulators to halt Facebook $19 billion acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp. Electronic Privacy Information Centre and the Centre for Digital Democracy, both are worried about how the company intends to use the personal data of WhatsApp's 450 million users.

WhatsApp, a service that allows mobile phone users to send each other messages, has promised not collect user data for advertising purposes. But there's no guarantee that that commitment will hold true once the service becomes part of Facebook.

The complaint asks regulators to investigate the deal "specifically with regard to the ability of Facebook to access WhatsApp's store of user mobile phone numbers and metadata."

Facebook said that Whatsapp will operate as a separate company and will honour its commitments to privacy and security.

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