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WhatsApp co-founder joins protest against Facebook data breach

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton has joined the campaign urging Facebook users to ditch the social media giant in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Supporting a growing anti-Facebook Twitter movement, Acton, who served on Facebook's board after it bought WhatsApp in 2014, tweeted "It is time" followed by the hashtag #deletefacebook.

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The social media giant has come under fire after it was revealed that data analysis company Cambridge Analytica accessed the personal data of over 50 million Facebook users without their permission.

Cambridge Analytica is said to have sourced the data from the creator of a personality profiling test which 270,000 Facebook users took. It's suspected that Facebook has known about the leak since 2015, but it became public only after media outlets reported on it.

Acton's history with Facebook

Acton has history with Facebook, dating back to 2009 when the company turned him down for a job. At the time he tweeted "Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life's next adventure."

Fast-forward to 2014, when Facebook bought WhatsApp for $16 billion and Acton joined Facebook's board with his WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum. Acton headed up engineering internally for WhatsApp, and played a big role in pushing encryption into the messaging app.

In September last year Acton announced his departure from Facebook to focus on his new endeavor, to "start a nonprofit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications".

Sudhanshu Singh

Sudhanshu Singh have been working in tech journalism as a reporter, writer, editor, and reviewer for over 5 years. He has reviewed hundreds of products ranging across categories and have also written opinions, guides, feature articles, news, and analysis. Ditching the norm of armchair journalism in tech media, Sudhanshu dug deep into how emerging products and services affect actual users, and what marks they leave on our cultural landscape.
His areas of expertise along with writing and editing include content strategy, daily operations, product and team management.