2. As stated by WhatsApp in its recent blog post, it is sharing your phone number with Facebook to “improve your Facebook ads and products experiences.” This doesn’t mean that you will start seeing advertisements on your WhatsApp app. But, you will start receiving more relevant ads on Facebook and get better friend suggestions.
4. WhatsApp has stated that your number will be shared with the ‘Facebook family of companies’ – which most likely includes other Facebook acquired companies such as Instagram and VR firm Oculus Rift.
5. Now the big question – can you prevent WhatsApp from sharing your phone number with Facebook? Good news is, you can. WhatsApp is letting users opt out of this. Here’s how to go about it:
• Uncheck the green box (fig 2).
• Unchecking means that you do not want WhatsApp to share your number and other data for Facebook ads and product-related purposes. Tap on ‘Agree‘ (fig 3).
If you have already agreed to the new terms and conditions, you still have 30-days to reverse your decision.
Open WhatsApp > go to Settings > Account > Uncheck the box given against “Share my account info…”
Note: If you do not see this option under Settings > Account, there’s no need to panic. It means that you haven’t updated to the latest version or you are yet to receive the notification about the new terms and conditions.
6. We need to understand that the above “opt-out” procedure is partial. This only prevents WhatsApp from sharing your data for Facebook ads and product-related purposes. However, your data will still be shared for other purposes which the company puts as “improving infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how our services or theirs are used, securing systems, and fighting spam, abuse, or infringement activities”.
7. This data-sharing update does not affect your communication on WhatsApp (messages, photos, videos, voice messages, and calls) which continue to be encrypted. This means that they can only be viewed by you and the person you are sending them to.
8. Users who have agreed to the new terms and conditions still have 30-days to express their disagreement. Once this window expires, they won’t be able to opt out.
9. WhatsApp hasn’t provided a comprehensive list of the types of user data it intends to share with Facebook nor anything about how Facebook will be using this data.
10. WhatsApp will continue to be ad-free.
But what if you don’t have a Facebook account?
Your number will still be shared with Facebook even if you are not on the social networking website. But a WhatsApp spokesperson has stated that even if Facebook has your number, it is of use because you don’t have an account there. Your number will not be used to create an account on your behalf.
We will be keeping track of this development and update this post accordingly.
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