WhatsApp Ready To Give Marketers Your Data; Promises 'No Spam'

by Edgar Hayes September 1, 2016, 6:07
WhatsApp Ready To Give Marketers Your Data; Promises 'No Spam'

Messaging service WhatsApp announced last week that they are changing their terms of service and will share user's phone numbers with their parent company, Facebook.

Other people are of the notion that they will get better service and improvements from both companies, and others might be concerned about the lack of control.

If you're a Whatsapp user, will you be sharing your data with Facebook?

WhatsApp says current users have up to 30 days to accept the new policy terms or stop using the service. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else'.

The reasoning: To help improve ad experience on Facebook and its products, to more accurately count unique users, and to fight spam and abuse. The company adds that all messages will continue to be encrypted, and therefore unreadable by either Facebook or WhatsApp.

Regulators are "looking into" plans for WhatsApp to share user information with Facebook.

At the time the acquisition was announced, a blog post on the WhatsApp website told users, "Here's what will change for you, our users: nothing", and said "WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently".

Whatsapp is making it clear that they are at least giving their current users a choice to opt-out of this change.

Available in 15 languages, the instant messaging app boasts of several features not vailable on WhatsApp like video calling. Telegram, one of the messaging services which provides end to end encryption, said that they had seen a 20 to 40 percent surge in their app downloads in the 24 hours after the announcement of the WhatsApp, Facebook news. The social media giant hopes to show you much familiar ads rather than displaying some random ones. "In a complaint filed Monday with the Federal Trade Commission, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Center for Digital Democracy that the change betrays previous promises Facebook has made on privacy".

Users also have up to 30 days to opt-out of the sharing portion of the new terms-of-service, but according to EPIC, that doesn't protect the companies from the FTC's consent order. Now WhatsApp says it will begin sharing more information about its customers with the "Facebook family".

While WhatsApp's messages are end-to-end encrypted, which means the app can not read them, it also has other information about the user such as their phone numbers and operating systems.

The messaging service is already under fire in the United Kingdom with the Information Commissioner, who enforces the Data Protection Act, due to look into how its new policy will affect British users.

"WhatsApp offers huge opportunity..."

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