WhatsApp reassures users of the integrity of their data

Popular messaging service WhatsApp again reminded users it doesn't collect basic information such as email addresses or birthdays unlike many social services such as Facebook, its parent company.

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, a Ukrainian, said reports claiming WhastApp will start sharing and collecting are "irresponsible."

"If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn't have done it," he said on his blog. 

He said allegations that WhatsApp is collecting and sharing data 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," he said.

WhatsApp also does not collect message content or images sent between users, either. Users feared that the acquisition meant WhatsApp would change its privacy policy and share data on users with Facebook.

Facebook purchased WhatsApp this February for $19 billion. The company has long been criticized for the massive amounts of data it collects. Rumors that WhatsApp will share its data with Facebook have been circulating since the acquisition.

Under the deal with Facebook, WhatsApp will operate autonomously under Facebook's ownership.

WhatsApps' terms of service says that "The contents of any delivered messages are not kept or retained by WhatsApp — the only records of the content of any delivered messages reside directly on the sender's and recipient's mobile devices (and which may be deleted at the user's option)."

Koum grew up in Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union, during the communist era. He noted that the fact that his family couldn't speak freely without the fear that their communications would be monitored by KGB was part of the reason why his family moved to the United States when he was a teenager. 

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