In a suprise announcement following on from the recent Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp it seems someone isn't happy. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2099700/whatsapp-users-should-switch-to-a-more-secure-service-german-privacy-regulator-urges.html
WhatsApp users should switch to a more secure messaging service now that it is being bought by Facebook, a German data protection commissioner urged Thursday.
Facebook announced on Wednesday that it plans to acquire WhatsApp, a mobile messaging service with about 450 million monthly users, for $12 billion in shares, $4 billion in cash as well as $3 billion in stock options.
The deal could raise important data protection issues because the personal data of its users will likely be merged with Facebook data, said Thilo Weichert, data protection commissioner for the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
When communication metadata and content of both services is merged, it can be used for profiling and commercially exploited for advertising purposes, Weichert also highlighted that both companies are based in the U.S., where there are less strict data protection laws than in Europe. He added that the services “refuse to comply with European and German data protection requirements.”
No one can really blame the German authorities in this case as we have seen too much evidence regarding the NSA infiltration of facebooks infrastructure, either willingly, by court order or simply by the NSA hacking the interconnecting fibre betwen data centres in and outside the US.
With such an aggressive data collection policy it looks to an outsider that the intelligence gathering arms of state work above the law and are a sign of a govt out of control and yet are now simply being given yet another route to farm personal and private data, it is in reality then a very wise move to alert folks to the potential loss of their data and privacy if you use such services.