Whatsapp: Users not at risk from Facebook data sharing

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Whatsapp have been forced to inform all users that they will not be at risk from it sharing user data with Facebook.

The move comes after claims that sharing users’ data with parent company Facebook puts them at risk.

Late last week, the company submitted a statement to an Indian court after it was facing a charge that the data sharing would “severely compromise the rights of its users and make the privacy rights of users completely vulnerable”.

However Whatsapp told the Delhi High Court that, “there is no question of messages, photographs or documents getting shared with Facebook. We have no access to the content.”

“Using the messaging service is a voluntary decision, we have not forced anybody to use it. Users have an option of opting out of it.”

This news comes shortly after an American privacy group filed a similar protest to the Federal Trades Commission (FTC). They claim that the company said in 2014 that they would never share data with Facebook.

The move to try and share data has been widely criticised in all quarters but Whatsapp claim that they will be changing their terms and conditions and all users can agree to this.

“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible,” the app’s privacy policy read at the time.

Speaking during the acquisition, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said: “It would be pretty stupid of us to interfere.”

But that appears to have changed.

The company confirmed that it would be updating its privacy policy for the first time in four years, as part of its plans to, “test ways for people to communicate with businesses in the months ahead.”

As Facebook now has access to the phone number attached to your Whatsapp profile it can track what you are doing easier and this helps with their targeted advertisements. Whatsapp are claiming that this is actually better for users and will enhance their experience.

“By coordinating more with Facebook, we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp,” the company explained on its blog.

“And by connecting your phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them.

“For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you’ve never heard of.”

It is possible to opt-out of Whatsapp sharing data with Facebook.

All you need to do is uncheck the box above the Agree button when you are asked to accept their revised terms and conditions.

RELATED: Changes to Whatsapp terms are much bigger than just sharing your phone number with Facebook

Via: Indian Express

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