FTC Responds to EPIC's Complaint about WhatsApp

The Federal Trade Commission has responded to the EPIC and Center for Digital Democracy complaint about WhatsApp's plan to transfer user data, including verified phone numbers, to Facebook. The FTC stated that it prohibits companies from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices and will enforce its 2012 Consent Order with Facebook. The FTC letter also acknowledged that the EPIC-CDD complaint “contains allegations regarding statements WhatsApp has made about how it limits the use of mobile phone numbers or other personally identifiable information." The FTC said it will "carefully review" EPIC’s complaint. EPIC and CDD wrote that WhatsApp's plan to transfer user data to Facebook for user profiling and targeted advertising - without first obtaining users' opt-in consent - contradicts numerous FTC statements and violates Section 5 of the FTC Act. EPIC and CDD previously warned the Commission that it must protect the privacy interests of WhatsApp users following the acquisition by Facebook.

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