WhatsApp will begin sharing your data with Facebook to target you with ads

WhatsApp has announced that it will begin sharing data with Facebook in a bid to provide users with targeted ads on the social network.

Instant messaging giant WhatsApp was built around the premise of never serving its users ads, and now a new policy change – the first of its kind since the service was acquired by Facebook in 2014 – might well do away with that.
WhatsApp has announced that it will begin sharing data with Facebook; the instant messaging company announced that it would share user’s phone numbers with the social network to provide ‘more relevant’ (targeted) friend suggestions and advertisements.
Read: WhatsApp finally gets voicemail support: Here‘s how to use it
Further, the instant messaging app will provide Facebook with information on when people last used the service, but has stated that it will not share the contents of messages, effectively leaving end-to-end encryption intact.
“Your encrypted messages stay private and no-one else can read them. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else,” the company said.
The change in privacy policy also offers a way for businesses to send messages directly to WhatsApp users. For instance, SMS message campaigns might in future be sent over the instant messaging app itself.
That means that while a future update might bring the ability to view appointment information or delivery notifications within the app, it leaves the door open for businesses to market their services to customers.
The official description offered by the company reads “Messages you may receive containing marketing could include an offer for something that might interest you.”
WhatsApp will share data with Facebook to target you with ads

How do I opt out?

Thankfully, there is a way to opt-out of data sharing to avoid your personal information being shared with Facebook.
Once users have updated to the latest version of WhatsApp, they’ll be prompted to accepted updated terms and conditions. To opt out:

  • Tap Read to expand the full terms and conditions
  • Scroll to the bottom
  • Above ‘Agree’, uncheck the option that reads “Share my WhatsApp account information with facebook to improve my Facebook ads and products experiences”

While this will remove Facebook’s ability to use your number, WhatsApp’s updated terms and conditions state that Facebook will still receive data in certain situations.
Read: Three new WhatsApp features that could disrupt the app landscape

Have your say!

Do you feel betrayed by WhatsApp’s latest move, or does the possibility of the service offering tailored advertisements and information with Facebook leave you excited? Be sure to share your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA
Source: WhatsApp Blog