If you are a user of WhatsApp and have been worried about the application being able to access your private data, Facebook’s acquisition of the mobile instant messaging app may be good news for you.The move to acquire WhatsApp is expected to help Facebook grab a bigger pie of the $100-billion global direct messaging business. Since WhatsApp will continue to function as a separate entity, experts feel, this may allay users’ fear over data security. WhatsApp, one of the most popular instant messaging apps, requires users to provide access to their entire address book, among other permissions.
Saket Modi, CEO of Lucideus Tech, a Delhi-based cyber security firm, said, “The threat to data security actually comes down. Firstly, WhatsApp as an entity is a small one compared to Facebook. The sheer size of the company’s network adds the element of responsibility towards user’s data.” “While entire WhatsApp team is about 50 people, Facebook has more resources to securely manage the data,” he added.
Akhilesh Tuteja, Partner, IT Advisory, KPMG, noted that while WhatsApp did not allow users to set privacy permissions in terms of restricting/not allowing the application to access phone book, location data and the like, Facebook did allow users to impose such restrictions.
“Unlike WhatsApp, Facebook is a listed company. Hence, it is bound to be more responsible in handling its users’ data,’’ another expert said.