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WhatsApp to share user data with Facebook

by Mark Tyson on 25 August 2016, 15:31

Tags: Facebook

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qac55v

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WhatsApp was bought by Facebook for the princely sum of $16 billion back in 2014. Now the popular messaging app has updated its privacy policy for the first time since the buy-out. Interestingly, WhatsApp will now start to share its user data with parent company Facebook.

Back at the time of the buyout, WhatsApp blogged about setting the record straight in the face of a deluge of "inaccurate and careless information" concerning user privacy being compromised, due to the Facebook partnership. Co-founder Jan Koum said how he deeply valued the principle of private communication. Furthermore "respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible," he asserted.

Better friend suggestions and more relevant ads

In a blog post on the official WhatsApp site, entitled Looking ahead for WhatsApp, the firm summarises upcoming changes, which it says "reflect that we’ve joined Facebook," and that it has added quite a lot of new app features since 2014.

On the controversial Facebook data sharing topic, the blog asserts that:

  • It has implemented end-to-end encryption by default so neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read the messages.
  • Your phone number won't be given/shared/sold to other parties, not even Facebook.
  • Facebook will help WhatsApp "track basic metrics" about usage which can better fight spam and abuse.
  • Connecting your phone number to Facebook's systems will bring you benefits such as "better friend suggestions" and "more relevant ads".

Non-spammy marketing texts?

Another change in the privacy policy will let "you and businesses to communicate with each other using WhatsApp". Such communications could include orders and delivery information, product and service updates, appointment reminders and… marketing messages. A privacy FAQ published by WhatsApp says it wants to avoid a 'spammy experience' but business communications might include "an offer for something that might interest you".

The WhatsApp blog post wraps up by saying that "our belief in the value of private communications is unshakeable".



HEXUS Forums :: 54 Comments

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Typical……I only started using WhatsApp recently when they added end-to-end encryption……looks like I'll be uninstalling it again already!
I like the idea of more relevant ads - so long as I get to decide what is relevant - which is none.

Pity, I hope this isn't the end of WhatsApp as we have known and loved it :(

I use it as an alternative to iMessaging, so I guess the time when I stump up for an iPhone is getting ever closer. Pity, I've only had the android phone for less than 18 months, so it isn't due for changing for at least another 4 years. <sigh>
peterb
I like the idea of more relevant ads - so long as I get to decide what is relevant - which is none.

Pity, I hope this isn't the end of WhatsApp as we have known and loved it :(

I use it as an alternative to iMessaging, so I guess the time when I stump up for an iPhone is getting ever closer. Pity, I've only had the android phone for less than 18 months, so it isn't due for changing for at least another 4 years. <sigh>

Or just use Hangouts! ;)
CAT-THE-FIFTH
Or just use Hangouts! ;)

No one I know uses hangouts. I did try it once, but i found it completely counter-intuitive, and as no-one else seemed to be using it, I abandoned it. It's one of the apps I'd like to get rid of on my phone, but of course Google won't let me.
peterb
No one I know uses hangouts. I did try it once, but i found it completely counter-intuitive, and as no-one else seemed to be using it, I abandoned it. It's one of the apps I'd like to get rid of on my phone, but of course Google won't let me.

Everybody I know does including mates who use iPhones and iPads. Skype works cross-platform.

Plus if they CBA to even have that app on their iPhone(its a standard part of Android),then IMHO they are not the sort of people who really care about you in the first place! ;)

I honestly just don't see the point of spending £400 on a phone(when my £150 one works perfectly fine even up a mountain) just to message people who CBA to install cross-platform messaging apps.

Look at games like Ingress - millions of people play that and the G+ and Google Hangouts integration is very important for things like that. We had a lot of iPhone users who play that game in big Hangouts for both social and organisational things.

Edit!!

Sorry,I know dozens of people who use Hangouts, I have been Hangouts which have like 30+ people in them

Even my dad can use Hangouts fine - its easy to use.

Another mates mum uses Hangouts on a iPad to video message him on his Nexus 4.

These are all old people,who are not really that good with technology.

It was less fuss than using Skype - even used the video messaging to talk to people I knew a few 1000 miles away on their iPad.

It seems to work very well on a £150 Moto G.

I would rather use text messages then spend £400 on a phone just for basic IM but each to their own! ;)