WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging platform is updating its terms and conditions , as well as its privacy
policy. Part of this update includes WhatsApp sharing your account
information with Facebook to, among other things, provide better targeted ads.
I know you’ll be wondering what part of your information is being shared to Facebook
Q – What information is being shared with Facebook?
The updated WhatsApp FAQ page says that the phone number you
used to sign up for WhatsApp with will be shared, as well as the last time you used the service.
Thanks to end-to-end encryption, Facebook will not be able to see your
messages, photos or other media you share. Only you and the person
you send messages to will ever be able to see that information. And
any information that is shared by WhatsApp will not be publicly visible
to anyone using Facebook. Meaning, if WhatsApp shares your phone
number with Facebook, it won’t fill in the phone number field on your
profile and make it visible to anyone.
Another question is why your information is being shared.
The FAQ page says sharing your information with Facebook will help
the two companies “coordinate more.” The claim is that it will help
them “fight spam and abuse” more efficiently, as well as and this is
likely the bigger and more feasible reason “improve your experiences
within [Facebook] services” through targeted ads.
Will I start seeing ads in WhatsApp?
No. Well, at least not in the usual banner ad style. However, WhatsApp is exploring ways to allow businesses to communicate with
customers. In the same way that you can interact with your bank via
SMS to check account balances or pay your cell phone bill with a text
message, WhatsApp wants you to receive information from business,
such as receipts for flight information.
The good news is, WhatsApp is (for now) continuing to put you in
control. It says, “We do not want you to have a spammy experience; as
with all of your messages, you can manage these communications,
and we will honor the choices you make.”
Time will tell if being part of Facebook will alter their stance on this, as
Open WhatsApp on your phone.
On Android , tap the action overflow button in the upper right
corner and select Settings . On iOS, tap the Settings tab in the
lower right corner.
Select Account .
Tap the check mark to the right of Share my account info .
To disable the feature, tap Don’t Share .
The pop-up that appears reads, “If you tap ‘Don’t Share’, you won’t be
able to change this in the future.” And they mean it.
On the bright side, your account information and app usage won’t be
shared with Facebook anymore. Though, it doesn’t say whether it has
already shared your information or whether, if shared, that information
will be deleted.