WhatsApp, which deals with private messages between family and friends, does not currently collect personal user data for advertising purposes. On the other hand Facebook's major source of revenue is collecting user information to allow for targeted adverts to its users, based on gender, age and other determining factors.
This has led to the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy filing a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The complaint claims that Facebook's purchase of WhatsApp will "violate WhatsApp users' understanding of their exposure to online advertising and constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade practice".
The complaint, dated 6 March 2014, asks the FTC to investigate the matter and ultimately to "insulate" WhatsApp user information from access by data collection practices.
It is now for the FTC to decide whether or not the acquisition can proceed and if any conditions protecting the data of WhatsApps' 450 million users should be imposed.