WhatsApp co-founder tells Facebook users to delete their accounts

Brian Acton joins ‘deletefacebook’ calls

Facebook mobile app

Brian Acton, one of the co-founders of Facebook-owned WhatsApp, has taken to Twitter to advise his followers to delete their Facebook accounts amid the scandal of 50 million people's Facebook profiles allegedly being misused to influence the outcome of the 2016 US election.

In a brief message, Acton, who has almost 26,000 followers, added his voice to the #deletefacebook call to action.

It is his first tweet in almost a year and has garnered a wide range of responses. While most are positive, some have pointed out that he profited personally from selling WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014 (the total transaction value was $19 billion). Following the sale, he stayed with Facebook as part of WhatsApp for a number of years, before joining the non-profit Signal Foundation, dedicated to open source privacy-focused communication, in September 2017.

Acton does, however, seem to have followed his own advice as IT Pro could find no active profile for him on Facebook at the time of writing.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Calls for users to delete their Facebook account have arisen following a data-sharing scandal that broke earlier this week. Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based data mining and analytics firm, allegedly used information taken from around 50 million Facebook users' profiles without their consent, after their friends on the social media platform used apps allowed the creator (normally a third-party associated with Cambridge Analytica) to access not only their own data but that of their connections. A whistleblower claimed the information was used to build sophisticated models to target US voters during the presidential election in order to persuade them to vote for Donald Trump.

It's possible that the data mining may have been in breach of the Data Protection Act, even though it may not have broken Facebook's rules with regards to data collection under its API terms and conditions as they were in 2015, when the incident took place.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now facing calls from both the US Congress and UK MPs to appear before official committees to answer questions on the revelations.

WhatsApp recently agreed to suspend any sharing of personal data between itself and its parent company after the UK data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office, said it had no legal grounds to share such information.

Featured Resources

Transform the operator experience with enhanced automation & analytics

Bring networking into the digital era

Download now

Artificially intelligent data centres

How the C-Suite is embracing continuous change to drive value

Download now

Deliver secure automated multicloud for containers with Red Hat and Juniper

Learn how to get started with the multicloud enabler from Red Hat and Juniper

Download now

Get the best out of your workforce

7 steps to unleashing their true potential with robotic process automation

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/policy-legislation/32857/irish-data-protection-commission-facebook-whatsapp-instagram-merge
Policy & legislation

Irish Data Protection Commission has questions for Facebook

29 Jan 2019
Visit/digital-currency/34762/china-prepares-to-launch-the-first-domestic-cryptocurrency
digital currency

China prepares to launch the first domestic cryptocurrency

6 Nov 2019
Visit/digital-currency/34578/mastercard-and-visa-abandon-support-of-facebooks-libra-cryptocurrency
digital currency

MasterCard and Visa abandon support of Facebook's Libra

14 Oct 2019
Visit/software-as-a-service-saas/34600/workplace-by-facebook-boasts-three-million-users-in-three-years
software as a service (SaaS)

Facebook Workplace boasts three million users in three years

9 Oct 2019

Most Popular

Visit/security/vulnerability/354309/patch-issued-for-critical-windows-bug
vulnerability

Patch issued for critical Windows bug

11 Dec 2019
Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354230/microsoft-not-amazon-is-going-to-win-the-cloud-wars
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/354297/this-exploit-could-give-users-free-windows-7-updates
Microsoft Windows

This exploit could give users free Windows 7 updates beyond 2020

9 Dec 2019
Visit/data-insights/big-data/354311/google-reveals-uks-most-searched-for-terms-in-2019
big data

Google reveals UK’s most searched for terms in 2019

11 Dec 2019