The United States: The largest instant messaging app WhatsApp has officially announced to share users’ data with Facebook.
WhatsApp has confirmed that it will share subscribers’ phone numbers and analytics information with Facebook for supporting for its range of businesses. It’s the first time ever that WhatsApp has shocked subscribers with a news that concerns their data privacy.
“We want to explore ways for you to communicate with businesses that matter to you, too, while still giving you an experience without third-party banner ads and spam,”
An Official Statement by WhatsApp
For years WhatsApp has stood as netizens top choice for communicating with friends and family members. The reason behind popularity lies on WhatsApp’s no-advertisement policy.
But, the new policy has bothered privacy conscious subscribers, as service will now be sharing their personal information with a social networking giant.
To kill confusion, WhatsApp has explained that the new policy will allow Facebook to use users’ contact number for enhancing its service features such as target advertisements, friend suggestions and reducing spam messages. But surprisingly, neither WhatsApp nor Facebook will be able to monitor users’ conversation, and no advertiser will gain access to users’ contact numbers.
Considering the scenario, various privacy activist, and organizations including “Electronic Privacy Information Center” have challenged the new data sharing policy. The firm has also claimed to file a complaint with Federal Trade Commission to prevent WhatsApp from sharing users’ data with anyone.
“Many users signed up for WhatsApp and not Facebook, precisely because WhatsApp offered, at the time, better privacy practices. If the F.T.C. does not bring an enforcement action, it means that even when users choose better privacy services, there is no guarantee their data will be protected.”
President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center ” Marc Rotenberg”
How to Stop WhatsApp from Sharing Your Information
Although, WhatsApp is about to share your information with its parent company Facebook, but you can take a stand and protect your privacy by stepping back from the new data sharing policy. Here’s how to stop WhatsApp from sharing your data with Facebook:
- Launch WhatsApp on your phone
- Next, you will probably receive a notification like one shown below
- You will be able to see a message displaying how your data will be shared with Facebook. Uncheck this option and hit agree
- After clicking Don’t Share, you’re all set to use the instant messaging app without worrying about getting your information leaked to anyone.
What If You’ve Accidentally Clicked Agree?
Many times we agree to privacy policies that we don’t even know about. If this is the case for you and you’ve accidentally clicked on Agree with WhatsApp’s new data sharing policy, then don’t worry as you can still stop the messaging app from distributing your information.
Here’s how to stop WhatsApp from sharing your information even if you’ve accidentally agreed to the new terms and conditions:
- Open WhatsApp on your device
- Go to Settings
- Scroll to Account
- At the bottom of the Account page, you will be able to see an option “Share my account info”. Uncheck this option
- After unchecking the option, you will successfully step back from new data sharing policy of WhatsApp. Enjoy!