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Better Ads And Friend Suggestions? No Thanks - Why I Will Not Agree To WhatsApp’s New Privacy Settings

WhatsApp is now sharing our numbers with parent company Facebook – and the news has been met with a lot of disapproving comments from users throughout the world.

The reason for this change is for ad-targeting and marketing purposes. It is said that it will also help them deter spam and abuse of information more efficiently, as well as improve your Facebook experiences through specifically targeted advertisements.

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Image Credit: SurfEasy

With the information from WhatsApp, Facebook is able to deliver suggestions from companies you’re familiar with, as well as the ones you’ve yet to come across.

While the picture Facebook is trying to paint seems like a rosy one, I personally wouldn’t allow for WhatsApp to share my contact number with Facebook.

Didn’t WhatsApp pride themselves in not sharing any personal consumer data? So what changed since then?

It Might Not Be As Safe As Assumed

Yes, they might say it’s safe and the information will not be used illegally, but it’s technology, and there will be someone who will have the ability to hack into Facebook. Soon enough, our personal information would be free for all to see and use.

Furthermore, Facebook already has Instagram under them, and now they have WhatsApp as well. With just those two apps under them they already have enough information on us – do we need to allow them more?

And how they will be able to reduce spam I am still not sure, but I don’t think that it has to do anything with our phone number.

Sharing Of Information Is Not New

However, if we were to think about it, Facebook users have already been sharing their information with the company the moment we signed on.

Adding on to all the little features like the games or quizzes that we play, we are actually sharing our information with those third party sites.

Facebook's third part sites /Image Credit: Digit.in
Facebook’s third party sites /Image Credit: Digit.in

But because we aren’t made aware of this fact, we allow it.

WhatsApp coming out and blatantly saying they will use share our information is good in a sense that we now know what’s happening, but of course, it’s not exactly a good thing to know.

Privacy Watchdogs Are On The Move

Consumers aren’t the only ones who are upset about this sudden change in the settings. The Straits Times reported that The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) has approached Facebook and WhatsApp over these changes.

This comes after a number of complaints by users about the possible breach of confidence over the messaging app.

According to the online news site, the PDPC has approached the relevant companies for further clarifications on the matter, and response is still pending.

Disabling The Feature

Fortunately, for those of you who wish to not have their privacy invaded (like myself), there’s an option to not allow it.

Simply go to your WhatsApp settings, and under the Share my account info tab, pick the Don’t Share option to disable the feature.

Disabling of the WhatsApp privacy sharing feature/ Image Credit:
Disabling of the WhatsApp privacy sharing feature/ Image Credit: Indian Express

But if WhatsApp is still going to continue with the sharing of our information, I just might have to switch to another mobile texting app. Competitor apps like Telegram and Line aren’t that far off from WhatsApp in terms of convenience – so it’s no loss for us customers actually.

Feature image credit: digitaltrends.com

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