Facebook will use Whatsapp users' personal data to target ads

WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy to allow it to exchange information about account holders with parent Facebook

Two years after its acquisition by Facebook, WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy to allow it to share more information about its mobile app users with its owner.

There's no risk of your WhatsApp messages appearing on your Facebook timeline, or status updates being sent to your WhatsApp friends, the companies say -- but they will be sharing more user data behind the scenes in order to better target advertising and suggest new contacts across the two services.

WhatsApp has long promoted itself as a strong protector of user privacy.

The changes will also help WhatsApp users better communicate with businesses, the company said in a blog post.

In all the examples WhatsApp gave, the businesses were doing the talking, not the listening. However, the company said there would be controls in place to allow people to opt out of business communications.

"We do not want you to have a spammy experience," it said.

The key change is that WhatsApp will be sharing its lists of users' phone numbers with Facebook, allowing the company to match up WhatsApp accounts with Facebook ones where users have registered a phone number.

That will give the parent company more data with which to make new friend suggestions and another way to target advertising.

One thing that won't change is who can read your WhatsApp messages: With newer versions of the app, they are encrypted end to end, so only the intended recipient can read them, the company said.

In its relations with regulatory authorities, Facebook and WhatsApp are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. Facebook has been roundly criticized in the past for collecting too much information -- particularly about people who don't use its service, or are not logged in, through "Like" buttons on third-party websites.

On Tuesday, though, French and German lawmakers said that messaging services such as Telegram and WhatsApp that offer end-to-end encryption don't keep enough information about their users' activities. The French and German interior ministers called for operators of encrypted messaging services to provide a back door for law enforcers to tap into users' messages in the course of investigations.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

5 cornerstones of a strong digital culture

Creating a strong company culture may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. In fact, company culture is created in exactly the same fashion as a religion or democracy. Behaviours created from the organisation’s inception are reinforced over time by leadership, attracting like-minded people and eventually reaching critical mass to become an accepted ‘truth’.

Anthony Stevens

Founder and CEO, Digital Asset Ventures

Should you rebuild your company’s tech stack in blockchain?

The question I get asked most regularly these days is: ‘Do I need to rebuild my company’s systems on Blockchain?’ And the answer, every time, is ‘No, you’re asking the wrong question’.

Michelle O'Keeffe

CEO, Engaging.io

Customer value proposition: Getting the brand promise to your customers right

Throughout my career, I have witnessed a litany of brand names that profess to have a unique customer value proposition (CVP). In reality, however, they’ve had little more than a ‘value proposition’: A simple list of benefits applied to a general audience.

Ric Navarro

Global director of marketing and communications, Norman, Disney & Young

Your site is very meaningful.you have presented a very valuable article.https://www.baneh.comgoodluck

فروشگاه اینترنتی

ACCC releases Consumer Data Right draft framework for comment

Read more

RE: Sales and marketing SLAs, often the choke point isn't the teams but them getting the data into the tools they want to use with the da...

Ed Fry

Why sales and marketing alignment is more important than ever

Read more

Thank you for the good and very helpful information. It is very interesting. I love all the things you share and see your beautiful creat...

รัตนาวดี ภูมิวรรณ

Former eHarmony marketing chief joins telco startup

Read more

Colin Kaepernick, not Mike Kapernick.

thisisw

Zenith's innovation leader: Mid-digital age not benefitting media, brands or consumers

Read more

AGA KHAN HOSPITAL is in need of kidney donors for the sum of 2 crore, Contact us today if you want to sell your kidney for money, and thi...

Sebastian Friedrich

Mindshare gets behind blockchain advertising alliance

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in