WhatsApp to share user data with Facebook

WhatsApp Will Share User Data With Facebook For Targeted Advertising and Battling spam

WhatsApp to share user data with Facebook

WhatsApp will now share your phone number with Facebook, even if you are using a separate number for it, in order to “enable more targeted advertising” and fight spam.

If both services are installed on the same device, Facebook will be able to pull up any phone numbers associated with WhatsApp through the device identifier. WhatsApp‘s privacy policy was updated with the new statement earlier on Thursday.

The decision to update WhatsApp’s privacy policy for the first time in four years is part of plans to test ways for people to communicate with businesses, the company said in a blog post.

The new update will also positively affect Facebook‘s Custom Audience ad platform for businesses, by displaying more “relevant ads” by pulling data for different phone numbers associated with the two services.

“For example, if you sign up to your local flower shop’s mailing list using the same mobile phone number that you use for your WhatsApp account, and they decide to advertise on Facebook, you may see their ads on Facebook,” the WhatsApp rep explained.

Thankfully, users will be able to opt out of sharing information with Facebook “for any sort of products or ad experiences”, although their phone numbers will still be shared between both services.

While WhatsApp stresses that it won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and won’t sell, share, or give your number to advertisers, the privacy policy change will result in WhatsApp contacts appearing as friend suggestions on Facebook.

Change in WhatsApp Privacy Policy

WhatsApp to share user data Facebook

This is the first privacy policy change that WhatsApp has made since its acquisition by Facebook in 2014. WhatsApp users will begin receiving updates of the policy changes Thursday evening, as the changes come into effect worldwide in the following days.

Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, its biggest buyout, in February 2014. WhatsApp is Facebook’s second most-used app after its main social networking app, which has 1.44 billion mobile monthly users.

WhatsApp, founded by Yahoo veterans Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2009, has announced several changes in recent months to attract more users. In June, it launched its web platform to allow users to use the messaging app from a personal computer. In January, it decided to drop its annual subscription fee.

In India, WhatsApp faces competition from Kavin Bharti Mittal’s Hike, which raised $175 million (Rs 1,170 crore) from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd, Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group and other investors this month. Viber, Line and Tencent’s WeChat are the other messaging apps that compete with WhatsApp.

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