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21st Mar 2018

Whatsapp founder who sold to Facebook for £11.4 billion joins #deleteFacebook campaign

He is worth over £4 billion and thinks Facebook should be deleted for good.

Kyle Picknell

Are we watching the plot for The Social Network 2 unfold?

The backlash against Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal continues as WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton has thrown his considerable weight behind the #deleteFacebook campaign after it was revealed the social media site had been working with the controversial data firm, which we happen to have a handy explainer for here.

He might not look like it, but the man above is worth over £4 billion after selling WhatsApp to Facebook themselves back in 2014, along with his co-founder Jan Koum. The pair sold the innovative messaging service for $19 billion – roughly 11.4 billion pounds.

Facebook are under increasing pressure to explain its privacy safeguards that protect its users data from regulators and politicians in both the UK and the US. Mark Zuckerberg has yet to respond directly to the controversy surrounding his company, which he started from scratch in 2004, despite calls for him to explain to MPs in person after Damian Collins, who is Chairman Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee wrote to him calling it a “catastrophic” failure.

Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica themselves have suspender their chief executive Alexander Nix, after recordings were found of him making a series of boasts that the data firm had been instrumental in the election of Donald Trump in 2016.

Every Facebook user generates a vast amount of personal data, not just through the personal and biographical details they share with the site, but also through every interaction – be it likes, or comments, or shares, or even which pages they view and which advertisements they click on. Facebook also receive data on where you are and what device you are using.

Users can view exactly what information they are sharing, and there are options to limit the data collected by the app, although there are options to delete and limit the info they can obtain, although this is usually far from obvious in the settings themselves.

On Monday night Channel 4 also aired a documentary about Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in election rigging.

The data firm were suspended from Facebook last week after it was revealed that they had failed to delete the data on 50 million users, and investigations remain ongoing.