WhatsApp will share user data with Facebook for targeted advertising and battling spam

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.

"For example, if someone is using Facebook in abusive fashion, sending malicious links to users and we are able to identify that account also on WhatsApp, we can disable that account and its services rather than just on Facebook," a WhatsApp rep told The Economic Times in an interview.

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. 

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.

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11 Comments

1. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Joy. How long until FB installs shower cams in every user's home and sponsored anal probes at airports? I love targetted ads - So, you bought a camera last week? Here are a thousand ads for that very camera! That you already bought...

4. Kumar123 unregistered

FB is the wrost tech company IMO. I stopped using FB after I learned that they conducted a psychological experiment on FB users without their consent, hell user didn't even know that FB was using them for the experience. I now use twitter and sometimes G+.

12. Fona13A unregistered

Google+ is just as bad, "integrated" YouTube my ass

2. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Well, its no concern to me as I don't use Facebook...! I'm all about Twitter, a Twitter Twit if I may... #MyPrivacyMatters FB, Do whatever you like, just don't plaque What'sApp with advertisements... Can't tell how great of an experience What'sApp is on my Lumia 430... Simple yet effective...! Chat for HOURS (without media, of course) and it barely dents 500KBs...! I must say that its quite on par with iMessage... I remember how HUNGRY BBM was on my "Old Bold"...! Lets hope they make a W10M version soon with "Actionable Notifications"...

3. flavius22

Posts: 218; Member since: Aug 23, 2015

Thats a lie. If they find someone nasty things, they should share that information, take appropriate measures. But this is not about us, its about them. Money. More money for them.

5. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Hahahaha, so much for "we'll keep facecrook and WhatsApp separate", never could trust zukerbitch.

6. mormatto

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 25, 2016

I knew this would happen some day, which is why I'm prepared. In fact, I have have already started using Threema. And you can't buy this messenger, Zuck'!

7. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

And so it begins................

8. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Hangouts >>> Whatsapp

9. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

well its over then....i will check google allo and see if its good.

10. trnz007

Posts: 48; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

There is a way to opt opt from sharing your account info Check this link. https://www.whatsapp.com/faq/general/26000016

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