‘Betrayal of trust’? WhatsApp to start sharing user data with Facebook, corporations
The world’s most popular messenger, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, will give its users’ personal information to its parent company and plans to make it easier for businesses to contact subscribers. WhatsApp claims the changes won’t endanger privacy.
“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. 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,”said the California-based company.
In practice, the benefits are less likely to be for WhatsApp, and more for data-hungry Facebook, which will know even more about its members.
“When WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook it was able to reassure users that it would remain independ.
ent,” Pamela Clark-Dickson, analyst at tech consultancy firm Ovum, told the BBC. “Now it’s giving Facebook phone numbers – some might say that’s a betrayal of trust. In a small way, it has gone back on what it said it wouldn’t do.”