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Groups seek privacy review of Facebook-WhatsApp tie-up

Published on Mar 7, 2014 4:24 AM
 
Two privacy activist groups asked US regulators on Thursday to put on hold the Facebook acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp to ensure against misuse of user data. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Two privacy activist groups asked US regulators Thursday to put on hold the Facebook acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp to ensure against misuse of user data.

An administrative complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission calls on the agency to investigate the deal and protection against "unfair and deceptive data collection practices" which could be implemented by WhatsApp after the takeover.

Facebook last month unveiled the eye-popping cash-and-stock deal worth up to US$19 billion (S$24 billion) for WhatsApp, which allows for free communications over mobile devices.

The complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Center for Digital Democracy said the deal may undermine the privacy of users by allowing Facebook access to user information, which could be used for advertising purposes.

 
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