The backlash against WhatsApp continues over policy change

Privacy activists are not happy about the information exchange between Facebook and WhatsApp

Messaging service WhatsApp announced last week that they are changing their terms of service and will share user's phone numbers with their parent company, Facebook. This has caused quite a stir and US-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is claiming the firm has violated a Federal Trade Commission consent order. 

WhatsApp has been heavily criticised by privacy campaigners as they believe the firm has backtracked on a pledge not to change its privacy policy back in 2014 when the deal with Facebook was announced. 

EPIC has now filed a complaint against Facebook and WhatsApp with the FTC. They say the two businesses lied to users during the 2014 sale of the company. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, firms are not allowed to conduct "unfair or deceptive trade practices". 

WhatsApp has defended the policy change, saying it has to share certain information with Facebook to test new features and services. 

In an official blog post announcing the changes it said: “By coordinating more with Facebook, we'll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp. And by connecting your phone number with Facebook's systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them.”