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Media Roundtable: What Data Does WhatsApp Collect From Its Users?

WhatsApp and Facebook icons are shown on a phone screen.

On this edition of Your Call's media roundtable, we're discussing a ProPublica investigation exposing how Facebook undermines privacy protections for its two billion WhatsApp users. In 2014, Facebook bought the world's largest messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion.

WhatsApp's more than 1,000 contract workers in Austin, Texas, Dublin and Singapore use extensive monitoring software to sift through millions of private messages, images and videos. That information is then regularly shared with prosecutors. In one case, WhatsApp user data helped prosecutors build a high-profile case against a Treasury Department employee who leaked confidential documents to BuzzFeed News that exposed how dirty money flows through US banks.


Peter Elkind, award-winning investigative journalist covering politics and government at ProPublica

Web Resources:

ProPublica: How Facebook Undermines Privacy Protections for Its 2 Billion WhatsApp Users

Your Call's Media Roundtable: An Ugly Truth — Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular Friday media roundtable guest in 2001.