WhatsApp founder Jan Koum has dampened “careless and inaccurate” rumours about possible changes to the messaging app’s privacy policies following its $19bn Facebook takeover.
In a blog post, Koum aimed to calm fears that that Facebook’s $19bn (£11bn) purchase of the firm would result in WhatsApp user data used for targeted ads from the social network’s advertisers.
“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA,” he wrote.
Koum referenced his childhood in Ukraine in the 1980s, and wrote that “the fact that we couldn’t speak freely without the fear that our communications would be monitored by KGB is in part why we moved to the United States when I was a teenager”.
He said he would not have allowed the firm to be acquired by Facebook if it meant changing core WhatsApp policies like not asking for users’ names, email addresses or birthdays. He said he would not allow user data to be used for advertising.
“Speculation to the contrary isn’t just baseless and unfounded, it’s irresponsible,” he added. “It has the effect of scaring people into thinking we’re suddenly collecting all kinds of new data. That’s just not true.”
WhatsApp currently makes money by selling a $0.99 subscription to users.
Read the blog in full here