We have been waiting for it to happen, but the moment has finally come. WhatsApp, the infamous mobile chatting application, has decided to update its policy to allow the exchange of phone numbers with the social network and its new owner, Facebook. In 2014, after a multi-million dollar takeover, Facebook bought WhatsApp, so it was expected at some point this would happen. As of August 25th 20016, WhatsApp officially started sharing your data with Facebook.
Why is WhatsApp sharing your data with Facebook?
They've decided to change their plans to test alternative communication methods between users and businesses. With this change, companies can contact users directly with a simple WhatsApp message. For example, an airline might be able to tell you that your flight is delayed, a bank can inform you of any strange activity or you could get a message letting you know that your pizza delivery guy is outside. The idea behind it is so that it is possible to contact you without the need for emails or phone calls.
It will remain an encrypted application without advertising or spam, but from now on WhatsApp will inform Facebook of your phone number. Don't worry though, they can't read the messages you send and your WhatsApp number will help to improve friend suggestions on FaceBook (whether that is a good or bad thing is up to you to decide).
It will be optional for a month
WhatsApp and Facebook say that they will not publish "nor share the numbers with others, nor sell share or give your phone numbers to advertisers". They also specify that data sharing with Facebook will be optional but, unfortunately, only during the 30 days after accepting the new conditions after the last update.
If you already accepted the new conditions, as is likely most people did, it's possible you're already sharing your data with Facebook. But it's not too late. Inside your WhatsApp, go to Settings> Account> and uncheck Share my account data.
Did you already know about this? Do you think it's an improvement or an invasion of privacy? Tell us what you think below!