Four years after its inception, and more than two years after being acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp has today updated its privacy policies for the first time. The updated policies hint at some of the features WhatsApp has recently launched, as well as some that are on their way. There’s however one aspect of the updated policies that has caught our eye — WhatsApp will now share your information with Facebook. Though this was inevitable ever since Facebook shelled out $22 billion for the messaging app, it may still come as a shock for many. Fortunately, there is still a way you can stop WhatsApp from sharing your information with Facebook. Read on.
One of the primary reasons why WhatsApp wants to be closely integrated with Facebook is to change how businesses communicate with their customers. Facebook will use the shared information to improve its friends suggestions feature and help businesses get a wider reach by improving the ads targeted at users. WhatsApp, on the other hand, will improve its spam fighting capabilities, and will also be able to improve tracking of basic metrics like number of unique users among others. It however assures that there won’t be any banner or pop-up ads on the messaging app.
How to stop WhatsApp from sharing your information with Facebook
WhatsApp says that it has started gradually informing users of the updated privacy policies through its app. Existing users will receive a notification about the updated policies, but before clicking on the Agree button, tap on the ‘Read more…..’ button. This will open the entire contents of the policies, but at the bottom of the screen you will see a short message alongside a check mark. This message reads, “Share my WhatsApp account information with Facebook to improve my Facebook ads and product experiences. Your chats and phone number will not be shared onto Facebook regardless of the setting.” Uncheck the box, and hit then hit the Agree button.
In case you missed the message, and accidentally hit Agree without changing the setting, there is still an alternate way. On WhatsApp, head over to Settings -> Account -> Share my account info. Uncheck the box and you are done. Once you have agreed to WhatsApp’s updated privacy policies, a user will only have 30 days to change the setting if they wish to. ALSO READ: Your deleted WhatsApp chats aren’t completely deleted on iOS, here’s how to keep your conversations secure