WhatsApp Starting To Share Data With Facebook – Here’s How To Opt Out

WhatsApp Starting To Share Data With Facebook – Here’s How To Opt Out

WhatsApp Starting To Share Data With Facebook – Here’s How To Opt Out

On Thursday WhatsApp updated its confidentiality policy for the first time after it became a part of Facebook, outlining the ways in which businesses will be able to make more targeted advertising on Facebook using WhatsApp. 

When Facebook bought safe messaging app WhatsApp for $19B back in 2014, the company was careful to encourage users that its promise to privacy would not be in any way compromised. Today WhatsApp has updated its privacy policy to permit it to share both analytics data and phone numbers with Facebook.

By directing more with Facebook, you’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp. And by connecting our phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend ideas and show you more appropriate ads if you have an account with them.

While the change is a comparatively small one, and the company stresses that our phone number will not be sold or shared with publicists, some may still be unhappy with the move.

There’s no danger of our WhatsApp messages looking on our Facebook timeline, or status updates being sent to our WhatsApp friends, the companies say — but they will be sharing more user data behind the scenes in order to better target advertising and propose new contacts across the two services.

WhatsApp has long promoted itself as a strong guard of user privacy.

The changes will also help WhatsApp users well communicate with businesses, the company said in a blog post. 

However, the user can select to not let WhatsApp share information on Facebook. "You can opt out of sharing information from WhatsApp to Facebook for any sort of products or ad experience on Facebook," the WhatsApp spokesperson said. 

Speaking to ET, a WhatsApp spokesperson clarified how this will work. When a person signs up on WhatsApp, they offer their phone number as an identifier and a unique number that is related to the device that the WhatsApp app is installed on. 

WhatsApp has shared that “Facebook family of companies will still receive and use this information for other purposes such as improving infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how our services or theirs are used, securing systems, and fighting spam, abuse, or infringement activities.” However, it will not be used to recover Facebook ads and products.

If we are not on Facebook, we can continue to use WhatsApp and there won’t be any need to set up a Facebook account. 

WhatsApp hopes to better fight spam with this integration. "For example, if someone is using Facebook in the abusive fashion, sending malicious links to users and we are able to identify that account also on WhatsApp, we can disable that account and its services rather than just on Facebook," the spokesperson added. 

This also means that if the user has some friends on WhatsApp who are not on our friend's list on Facebook, we could now see them as "friend suggestions" on the social network. 

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