A week after announcing it would scrap subscription fees, Whatsapp is going to start sharing user data with its owner Facebook.
The popular multi platform instant messaging service, which boasts more than one billion active users, was bought by Facebook in 2014.
The claims come from a series of screenshots recently leaked online, which shows a new data sharing option in the account settings, used to help the two companies share data and user information with one another.
The new option was unearthed by developer Javier Santos who discovered the settings in the the latest beta version of Whatsapp for Android.
The new option reads: “Share my WhatsApp account information with Facebook to improve my Facebook experiences.”
It is unclear at this stage exactly what information will be shared between the two companies, although one would assume that your contact details are likely to be a starting point and don’t be surprised if you see a few of your Whatsapp contacts appearing in your Suggest Friends list in the not too distant future.
Whether the content of your Whatsapp messages will be used to help Facebook target you for certain advertisements or Pages is unknown.
Aside from the leak on data sharing, the new version of Whatsapp finally introduces a new end to end option, which developers claim will make your messages and media more secure than ever before.
Some users will say that end to end encryption on Whatsapp is long overdue. In 2015, the Electronic Freedom Foundation issued a report into issues of data privacy which gave Whatsapp a one star rating – the lowest of all the messaging apps surveyed.
Reports last week suggested that Whatsapp would replace the recently scrapped subscription fee by allowing companies to communicate directly with Whatsapp users.
Whilst Whatsapp execs stressed that the goal was to avoid users being inundated with spam and other unwanted advertising, in the future, large scale companies could use the app to inform people regarding important news, such as an airline informing passengers of a flight cancellation.
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.