In their letter to the commission on Monday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy asked the FTC to investigate WhatsApp. The groups called the data handover to Facebook "unfair and deceptive," noting, "WhatsApp users could not reasonably have anticipated that by selecting a pro-privacy messaging service, they would subject their data to Facebook's data collection practices."
EPIC argued the data transfer should take place only on an opt-in basis.
For now, WhatsApp said Facebook will use its data, including user phone numbers, to track metrics, refine Facebook ad targeting, and enable communications between businesses and WhatsApp users, such as flight delay notifications. WhatsApp stressed it will keep its system free of "third-party banner ads and spam."