WhatsApp to share user’s phone nos with Facebook

Messaging service WhatsApp has updated its global privacy policy, under which it will now share phone numbers of users with its parent company, Facebook.

While the move will help Facebook offer more targeted advertisements on its own platform, WhatsApp will continue to be ad-free, a WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI.

He added that this is the first time when WhatsApp has updated user privacy policy after being acquired by Facebook in 2014 in a USD 19-billion deal.

Privacy advocates had raised concerns that Facebook would start mining WhatsApp accounts for data. However, both the companies have maintained that WhatsApp would operate separately from the parent company and that its user data would not be shared without users’ consent.

WhatsApp has over one billion users globally, with a significant chunk coming from India. Facebook also runs photo-sharing platform, Instagram.

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“As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, this family of companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customise, support, and market our services and their offerings,” the spokesperson said.

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