If you’re using WhatsApp then you should know the company is now allowed to share your data with Facebook. Don’t worry though, you can still opt out. But you will need to do this now.
It’s no secret. Facebook acquired WhatsApp. That was a little over 2 years ago already. And since that acquisition, WhatsApp dropped the $1 (or £0.99 in the UK) it used to charge you for buying the app from the Apple store. So now, the app is left without any monetisation model. And Facebook does not like this very much.
As you have probably agreed to the update in its T&Cs, WhatsApp can now share your usage data with its parent company. There is no doubt Facebook will use this newly uncovered data to… serve us more ads! Of course, in its announcement, WhatsApp turns this into two customer benefits:
1. It helps fight spam on WhatsApp
By coordinating more with Facebook, we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp.
2. Facebook will come up with better suggestions
Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you’ve never heard of.
So it’s All Good, No?
Well, in a way yes. But the new T&Cs go a step further. Your data will also be shared across the “Facebook family of companies.” Now I am not bothered about seeing more relevant ads on Facebook, or getting a better spam filter on WhatsApp. But what happens when my usage information also gets shared to other parties I am not aware of? How big is the “Facebook family of companies?”
The two main pieces of data that WhatsApp will be sharing with Facebook are, your phone number (creepy), and your overall app usage. It doesn’t seem like much, but for Facebook this is gold.
WhatsApp will now share your verified phone number with Facebook.
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You Can Still Opt Out
Even if you have already accepted the new T&Cs, you can still opt out from having your data shared with Facebook.
You can still opt out from having your WhatsApp data shared with Facebook
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To exercise your right to opt out head over to Settings > Account > Share my info and deactivate the option
Don’t wait too long before you do so however. You only have 30 days to uncheck the box before this partial opt out expires.