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WhatsApp to share users' phone numbers, device information with Facebook

WhatsApp to share users' phone numbers, device information with Facebook

Phone numbers, for example, will be connected with Facebook's systems and used for targeted ads and friend suggestions, but would not be shared or sold to advertisers, WhatsApp said.

Thankfully, users will be able to opt out of sharing information with Facebook "for any sort of products or ad experiences", although their phone numbers will still be shared between both services.

Before you tap Agree to accept the updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, tap Read.

Another change is potentially more controversial: WhatsApp says it will begin "coordinating" accounts with Facebook by sharing WhatsApp users' mobile phone numbers and device information, such as the type of operating system and other smartphone characteristics.

But Thursday's blog post hints that WhatsApp does have some important data that it can use to identify users and the connect those users to their profiles at Facebook.

This is the first time WhatsApp has updated its terms in four years, meaning it's the first major change in how the service can operate since it was bought by Facebook in 2014. There have been about two Olympics for one thing, and a lot of hacks, disclosures, and hair-raising privacy stories, but WhatsApp has remained unchanged - that is until now.

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After the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook in 2014, many WhatsApp users were concerned that their privacy would be violated, thanks to the social media network giant. Facebook couldn't look even if it wanted to since WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted with the encryption golden standard.

WhatsApp is still a great app to use for secure messaging, but it is not longer the best option for 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", according to the company's blog.

That's it! By doing this, you will effectively keep your WhatsApp data private from Facebook.

If you initially agree to the updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, you can go into your settings and into the account section to uncheck the box for sharing account information with Facebook. You can learn more, including how to control the use of your data, here.

You're likely to see more people you recognise or have some form of communication with in the "People You May Know" section.

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