At the time, WhatsApp assured users that their data would remain private, and not be shared with Facebook â€¦
There has also been a lot of inaccurate and careless information circulating about what our future partnership would mean for WhatsApp usersâ€™ data and privacy. Iâ€™d like to set the record straight [â€¦]
Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible [â€¦] If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldnâ€™t have done it. Instead, we are forming a partnership that would allow us to continue operating independently and autonomously. Our fundamental values and beliefs will not change. Our principles will not change.
The first part of the U-turn came in 2016, when WhatsApp began sharing data with Facebook by default.
By coordinating more with Facebook, weâ€™ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp. And by connecting your phone number with Facebookâ€™s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them.
At the time, however, existing users could opt out of the data sharing.
WhatsApp to share your data with Facebook as condition of use
Among other things, your data will now be used to show personalized ads.
Improving their services and your experiences using them, such as making suggestions for you (for example, of friends or group connections, or of interesting content), personalizing features and content, helping you complete purchases and transactions, and showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products.
You can read the full details here.
The news follows a piece highlighting the vastly different amounts of information linked to user identities by four messaging apps: Signal, iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. This was revealed by Apple requiring apps to disclose the personal data they collect, and specify the ways in which it is used.
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