50 Percent of US Users Don't Know Who Owns WhatsApp: DuckDuckGo Survey

It may sound bizarre but over 50 percent of Americans who have used WhatsApp in the last six months have no idea who owns the popular mobile messaging platform.

According to a survey by DuckDuckGo, the US-based privacy-protecting search engine, just over half of US citizens (50.42 percent) do not know WhatsApp is owned by Facebook.

“We randomly selected 1,297 US adults (not just DuckDuckGo users) who are collectively demographically similar to the general population of US adults and surveyed them on August 16, 2018.

“Half of those who used WhatsApp in the past six months weren’t aware that Facebook owns WhatsApp,” said the survey.

Waze is a popular GPS navigation software. It works on smartphones and tablet computers that have GPS support.

“This means that a majority of Americans who are using WhatsApp and/ or Waze are doing so without realising that all of their information, whether it be routes, travel time, messages, photos, or location data, is privy to Facebook (for WhatsApp) and Google (for Waze),” said the survey.

According to the survey, the lack of awareness over Facebook and Google’s reach is even more alarming as more and more Americans are looking to take control of their privacy online.

A previous survey by DuckDuckGo found that 56.9 percent of American adults were unaware that Facebook owns Instagram and 44.6 percent did not even know that Google owns YouTube.

Facebook in 2014 acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. Both WhatsApp co-founders – Brian Acton and Jan Koum – have quit Facebook reportedly over data privacy and Facebook’s plans to monetise WhatsApp.