Upcoming WhatsApp feature to allow data sharing with Facebook for sponsored content: Report

WhatsApp will also collaborate with Facebook to help promote businesses and extend them to users through sponsored ads.

  • Published: February 22, 2018 5:02 PM IST
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WhatsApp‘s new Terms of Services (ToS) and Privacy Policy has been reportedly leaked, according to which the messaging app will soon start sharing user data with Facebook to offer sponsored content to business accounts. The company has recently submitted a new update to the Google Play Beta program for version 2.18.57 and the new feature is expected to be available in the upcoming stable version.

As TelecomTalk reports, the leaked ToS highlights that the personal information of users will be shared with ‘Facebook companies’, while claiming that the information will only be used to provide services to WhatsApp. It is not clear as to which companies the data will be shared with and whether or not it means enhanced tracking.

One of the things to particularly note here is that users will be able to choose to share their data, and have an option to block the businesses they don’t wish to hear from. The ToS mentions that nothing you share on WhatsApp, including your phone number, will be shown on Facebook or Facebook Company Products, unless you choose to show it.

Now, it will be interesting to see whether this tracking of data will be enabled by default or users will have a notification sent across with the upcoming update about how their engagement with the app will be leveraged for other purposes. From a consumer perspective, this might translate into a breach of privacy as WhatsApp has become a tool for everyday communication, including personal and professional alike.

The leaked ToS also indicate that sharing posts from Facebook-owned platforms such as Instagram will become easier on WhatsApp. WhatsApp will also collaborate with Facebook companies to help promote and extend them to users through sponsored content or ads.

In addition to this, the ToS indicates that WhatsApp shares information with Facebook Companies to ensure the safety of users by removing things such as hate speech, dangerous activity and abusive content. In doing so, WhatsApp will share even personal information, including phone numbers, names, businesses you interact with, device details, sponsored ads and more.

As WhatsApp aims to tap on the enterprise sector, the new ToS stands in deviation from the company’s initial motto of keeping the platform free of ads. The company recently introduced Business Accounts on WhatsApp where business numbers belonging to services such as MakeMyTrip and BookMyShow receive a green tick against their account as ‘Verified Businesses’. WhatsApp also introduced a dedicated WhatsApp Business app to allow enterprises to communicate with their prospective clients in an effective way.

  • Published Date: February 22, 2018 5:02 PM IST