Much-loved messaging app WhatsApp is about to start sharing your data, as some disturbing new privacy terms have been announced by the company.
When Facebook bought WhatsApp for $22 billion, we were all assured that our trusty group chats and data would remain entirely private.
Today’s announcement revealed that WhatsApp user data will be used ‘to connect your phone number with Facebook’s systems, [so] Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads’, however.
It’s all a bit too Orwellian for me, so I’ll be choosing to opt out – at the ‘terrible’ risk of getting slightly less relevant ads.
Reportedly you can opt out by unticking the ‘Share my WhatsApp account information with Facebook’ option when a screen announcing the new terms appears.
The Independent reports that you can also opt out by unticking the ‘share my account info’ button which can be found under account settings.
— Sholim (@Sholim_) May 14, 2016
This is the first time WhatsApp have updated their privacy terms in four years. It also included new features for web and desktop versions of the app.
In the announcement, WhatsApp have tried to reassure customers by saying:
Even as we coordinate more with Facebook in the months ahead, your encrypted messages stay private and no one else can read them. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else. We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers.Advertisement
They claim they”ll only be using basic metrics about how often people use the services, but it’s a slippery slope!