Data privacy and the use and protection of user data by online businesses has become a hot topic today.

WhatsApp Logo

Ever since highly-successful messaging startup WhatsApp was bought out by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) for $19 billion a few weeks ago, WhatsApp users have been asking for reassurance regarding their privacy after the deal with the social media giant closes. Furthermore, users of the fast-growing messaging service have good reason to be concerned, given Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s business model literally revolves around collecting and sharing user data.

Statement from WhatsApp CEO Koum

“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don’t have to give us your name and we don’t ask for your email address,” said Koum in a statement released today attempting to convince users of the company’s sincerity. “We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address. We don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for on the Internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that.”

Koum is slated to become a member of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s board of directors a few months after the acquisition is finalized.

WhatsApp set to roll out voice calling

Several analysts have also recently noted that WhatsApp is expected to release its much-anticipated voice-calling message service sometime in the next few months. Commenting on the upcoming rollout of voice calling in an interview a few weeks ago, Koum said, “We think we have the best voice product out there. We use the least amount of bandwidth and optimize the hell out of it.”

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is trading up $1.21 at $68.93 as of 3:30 PM ET today.