Updated application released with new privacy features.
WhatsApp has promised it will not alter the type of data it collects from users and the process of gathering it, dismissing speculations that it would begin gathering more user data upon being acquired by Facebook.
According to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, the company is serious about the privacy of users and it would be its top priority.
"There has been a lot of inaccurate and careless information about what our future partnership (with Facebook) would mean for WhatsApp users’ data and privacy … I’d like to set the record straight," Koum said.
"If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn’t have done it."
"It has the effect of scaring people into thinking we’re suddenly collecting all kinds of new data.
"That’s just not true, and it’s important to us that you know that," he continued.
The standalone messaging service has also updated the app with a new user settings screen, which is comprised of several settings that were earlier spotted around the app, along with some newly added privacy settings.
The update also allows users to hide their profile picture from public view, using the new privacy settings section, that allows making profile pictures visible to ‘everyone’, just ‘my contacts’, or ‘nobody’.
Users can now decide on backing up their chat history after opening the updated app for the first time.