WhatsApp recently announced via a blog post that they plan to start sharing some of its data with parent company Facebook.
If you’re wondering why Facebook spent $19 billion on WhatsApp back in 2014, then we’ve finally gotten a rock solid answer. WhatsApp announced that metrics like phone numbers, usage frequency, contact lists, and other data will be shared with Facebook (for advertising related purposes) unless users intentionally choose to opt out.
With the promise of not sharing and selling data to advertisers, and reiterating that messages continue to remain encrypted between the sending and receiving parties only (assuming your version of WhatsApp is updated), it should still make us wary as to how secure WhatsApp really is.
For those who aren’t too pleased with the idea of their personal data being passed on to Facebook, there are two methods by which you can opt out.
Here’s the catch, you only have a very limited time in which to do so
Most users should be prompted to agree to WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions whenever next they reload the app. This option is only available for 30 days though. If you choose not to accept, the app will cease to function thereafter. Don’t fear though. Just be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom and uncheck the option to share data with Facebook before accepting.
If for whatever reason you missed this option before accepting (which Facebook/WhatsApp is counting on), you can still disable it by going to Settings > Account, and unchecking the box under the “Share my account info” section.
Note that this is also time sensitive as this option will become unavailable after 30 days if no action is taken, and you will be permanently stuck in an opt in state.
In summary, is this even worth the drama?
For most of us, Facebook already has our number as many profiles must be verified via a phone call or text message after some time, which requires you giving them a valid phone number.