Could even Facebook become a convert to privacy?

The stunning $19bn Facebook paid last week for messaging service WhatsApp has made all of the headlines. But tucked away in the announcement of the deal is an interesting comment from founder Jan Koum: “You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee … you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication.”Facebook has built its $173bn market valuation around profiling its users and showing them targeted adverts. It has refused to allow users to subscribe with money rather than personal data. Might even Mark Zuckerberg be coming around to the value of privacy? After insisting for years that it was a sign of duplicity, he decided last month: “If you’re always under the pressure of real identity, I think that is somewhat of a burden.”

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