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WhatsApp to Share Numbers with Facebook

How do you feel about your phone number being shared with the biggest Social Network Platform in the World?

Well in the past few days one of the most popular messaging platforms Whatsapp has announced it will start sharing your data – including your phone number.   Why you might ask…

Good question. You might recall big news back in Feb 2014 in which social media giant Facebook purchased WhatsApp for a cool $19bn (£11.4bn). That’s some coin.

It now seems that WhatsApp’s 1 billion users worldwide, are about to start receiving adverts. WhatsApp recently updated its privacy policy on 25th August 2016 for the first time in four years stating in their blog that ‘by connecting your phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them’ by way of explanation. They also outlined that by ‘coordinating more with Facebook, we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp’

The upshot is that your phone number will be shared with Facebook and you will start receiving ads within WhatsApp.

 What does this mean for WhatsApp encrypted messages?

 Well the company have said again on their blog ‘Your encrypted messages stay private and no-one else can read them. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else’. So that’s a relief.


But Wayne is there any silver lining?

When it comes to SMS messaging for many of us the point is that they’re private. Do we really want to start receiving adverts this way? I mean when we use Facebook et al we expect to see adverts. Is it a step too far for WhatsApp and will it be something which puts users off?

I predict we will all see a lot more of this activity happen – especially between the bigger social media platforms who acquire other services to try to maximise the data they get from a merger or sale. But all is not lost. WhatsApp have said that users would be able to ‘opt out’ of sharing information with Facebook. On their FAQ page they have outlined how you can choose not to share account information with Facebook. Unfortunately this opt out option is buried inside the T & C’s where many users, especially young users just don’t go.

Below is a screen shot of the update and the opt out within the Terms and Conditions. I received mine this evening so no doubt you will see it shortly if not already – maybe you’ve just accepted it? If so you still have time to opt out, 30 days to be exact.

WhatsApp Privacy Updated WhatsApp Privacy Updated


So keep an eye out for it if you don’t want your phone number to be shared with Facebook and you don’t want to receive adverts within Whats App.

If you’d like more practical tips on how to stay safer online as well as protecting and managing your Online Reputation then grab a copy of my book.


Posted By Wayne Denner

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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