In a posting on the company’s blog, Jan Koum, 37, said a major motivation behind his creation of the app was his desire to ensure the privacy that he had never enjoyed while growing up under Soviet rule in his native Ukraine.
“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible,” wrote Koum, who noted that the site does not insist on knowing users’ names or email addresses, and does not know their home addresses, employers, birthdates or internet search histories.
Koum insisted that the 19-billion-dollar sale last month of the company to Facebook would not change that, despite Facebook’s renowned appetite for as much user data as possible.
“If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn’t have done it,” Koum wrote.
“Instead, we are forming a partnership that would allow us to continue operating independently and autonomously. Our focus remains on delivering the promise of WhatsApp far and wide, so that people around the world have the freedom to speak their mind without fear.”