As per the latest official announcement of WhatsApp, the users’ phone numbers are shared with Facebook to improve the Facebook ads and product experiences. As a result, the users will start receiving more number of relevant ads and friend suggestions on Facebook. The policy also helps the users to track basic metrics of the frequency of services and the ways to fight spam on WhatsApp in a better way. There are chances that some related data like the users’ mobile Operating Systems, country codes, carrier codes, screen resolution, and device identifier will be shared too. WhatsApp has also announced that the number can be shared with the companies that come under Facebook family (eg. Instagram, VR firm Oculus Rift etc.).
The obvious question, which comes in our mind, is that, can we prevent WhatsApp from sharing our phone number in similar fashion? WhatsApp has given provision for that too. Here are a couple of ways to go for it:
• Thereafter, just uncheck the green box as shown below. This means you do not agree with the sharing of numbers with Facebook.
• Once the below screen appears, tap on ‘Agree‘.
Once you are done with the above-mentioned processes, you still have 30-days to reverse your decision. In that case, you can open WhatsApp > go to Settings > Account > Uncheck the box given against “Share my account info” as shown below:
Please Note: There are possibilities that you might not see this option under Settings > Account. You need not worry. It happens only when the latest Whatsapp version is not updated or else you are yet to receive the new terms & conditions notification.
It is also important to understand that the above procedure is a partial solution. It stops WhatsApp from sharing your data for Facebook ads and product-related purposes. In spite of that, the data will be shared to improve infrastructure and delivery systems, or understand service methodology, secure systems and other violation activities. However, this will not affect your communication on WhatsApp. Even if the users have agreed to the new policy, still they have 30-days’ time to change their decision.
Until now, WhatsApp has given neither any concrete information about the list of the user types, which they plan to share with Facebook, nor anything about how Facebook will use the data. If you do not have any Facebook account, then also your number will be shared with Facebook. As per the latest updates from Facebook spokesperson, this will not be used to create an account on your behalf.
Based on the latest updates from Whatsapp/ Facebook, we will keep on updating this blog post.