News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost Enterprise Cloud Computing
On Force.com
You are here: Home / World Wide Web / FTC OK's WhatsApp, Facebook Deal
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
FTC Approves WhatsApp, Facebook Deal
FTC Approves WhatsApp, Facebook Deal
By Seth Fitzgerald / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
APRIL
11
2014



One month after Facebook announced its plan to acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given its approval -- under one condition. WhatsApp’s privacy policies must remain the same unless consumers provide their informed consent.

The FTC made its ruling after privacy organizations in the U.S. wrote to the agency with concerns about exactly what Facebook planned to do with WhatsApp’s user data.

Facebook has not had a great record when it comes to protecting user information, as some people have argued that the social network exploits data for advertising purposes. As a result, even some of WhatsApp’s users were worried when the acquisition was announced, since WhatsApp has always tried to protect user privacy. Now that the FTC has made it clear that all changes require authorization, there is less potential for exploitation.

Enforcing The Law

As long as Facebook respects the privacy policy that WhatsApp has vowed to protect since the acquisition was first announced, the FTC will allow the deal to go through. Section 5 of the FTC Act already takes care of the exploitation of user data but since the two companies have completely different privacy policies, the government organization felt that it was necessary to reiterate what Facebook can and cannot do with WhatsApp.

Jessica Rich, the director of the FTC’s Department of Consumer Protection, wrote a letter to the legal counsels for both WhatsApp and Facebook informing them of the reasons user privacy must remain intact. In the letter, Rich referenced WhatsApp’s privacy policy as well as statements from both companies that have been released during the past month. She used those to show that Facebook has a legal and ethical requirement to respect WhatsApp’s policy and its users.

“WhatsApp must continue to honor these promises to consumers. Further, if the acquisition is completed and WhatsApp fails to honor these promises, both companies could be in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act and, potentially, the FTC's order against Facebook," Rich said in the letter.

An Old Agreement

Not only are Facebook and WhatsApp subject to the laws in the FTC Act but they are also subject to an agreement that Facebook reached with the FTC in 2011. The regulatory authority filed a lawsuit against Facebook when it was discovered that the social network had not been upfront about how it was using user data.

At that time, Facebook was directly breaking promises that it had made with its users and was not informing them about policy changes. The two parties eventually agreed that Facebook would have to get approval from users before making changes to its terms of service.

Since WhatsApp will be under Facebook’s control, it must also operate in accordance with the FTC’s requirements. Failure to do so would cause Facebook to be in violation of multiple agreements, and the FTC would have an easy time levying fines or placing other restrictions on the company.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN WORLD WIDE WEB
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Russian Gang with Stolen IDs Hacks Hosting Company
In August, a Russian cyber gang obtained what researchers called “the largest cache of stolen data." Now, those hackers may be putting their ill-gotten gains to criminal use.
 
Dairy Queen Latest Retailer To Report Hack
Known for its hot fries and soft-serve ice cream, Dairy Queen just made cyber history as the latest victim of a hack attack. The fast food chain said that customer data at some stores may be at risk.
 
Lessons from the JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack
JPMorgan Chase is investigating a likely cyberattack. The banking giant is cooperating with law enforcement, including the FBI, to understand what data hackers may have obtained.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
AMD's New FX Series CPU Breaks Processing Speed Record
The new FX-8370 processor from Advanced Micro Devices has set a record for silicon processor speed, the company announced. Overclocked, the eight-core chip was measured at 8722.78 MHz.
 
Intel Intros Lightning-Fast PC Processors
Call it extreme. Intel just took the covers off its first-ever eight-core desktop processor, which is aimed at hardcore power users who expect more than the status quo from their computers.
 
HP Previews ProLiant Gen9 Data Center Servers
Because traditional data center and server architectures are “constraints” on businesses, HP is releasing new servers aimed at faster, simpler and more cost-effective delivery of computing services.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Rumor Mill Puts Mobile Wallet in iPhone 6
Apple is moving toward the mobile wallet world with its next iPhone. The tech giant has partnered with retailers, banks and major payment networks to make it happen, according to Bloomberg.
 
Will iPhone Finally Catch Up with NFC Mobile Payment Ability?
Apple's latest version of the iPhone may have a mobile wallet to pay for purchases with a tap of the phone. The iPhone 6 reportedly is equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology.
 
Visual Search To Shop: Gimmick or Game Changing?
Imagine using your phone to snap a photo of the cool pair of sunglasses your friend is wearing and instantly receiving a slew of information about the shades along with a link to order them.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech | Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.