Yesterday, WhatsApp introduce new terms to their Terms and Policies which will enable them to share your information- such as mobile phone number and last seen status- with Facebook.
If you’re not happy about that, you have two choices: You can either stop using WhatsApp entirely — if you want to be sure that none of your WhatsApp data ends up on Facebook’s servers or you can exercise the partial opt out WhatsApp is offering users for a short period of time.
If you want to opt out of sharing your data with Facebook for ad-targeting and product-related purposes, this article is for you.
When you see this message on the screen, don’t just click on “Agree”. Come on, read through and know what you are getting yourself into.
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Once you’ve switched the toggle off you’re free to tap Agree — safe in the knowledge you have at least minimized how Facebook can use your WhatsApp data.
It won’t be able to use your WhatsApp data for ad-targeting, or for trying to triangulate the identities of people you know on WhatsApp with Facebook profiles to push more friend recommendations your way.
It will still be able to use your WhatsApp data for some uses though, including “improving infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how our services or theirs are used, securing systems, and fighting spam, abuse, or infringement activities”, as WhatsApp tells it.
But wait! What if I already hit agree!
If you already tapped Agree without reading the small print and noticing the opt-out option there’s still a way to tell WhatsApp you’d rather it not share your phone number with Facebook so the latter can spam you with more ads.
To do this you need to go to the WhatsApp Settings page in the app, then tap on Account, and then uncheck the ‘Share my account info’ option. Which has the same effect as toggling before you Agree the T&Cs.
However WhatsApp is *only* offering a thirty day window for this Settings-based opt-out — with the clock ticking from the day you tapped ‘Agree’. So you’ll need to get a move on if you want to minimize the privacy intrusion.