Bummer! WhatsApp Confirms That Your Number Would Be Shared With Facebook Whether You Like It Or Not
If you are agreeing to use WhatsApp for connecting with your friends and family, then there is an inevitable fact you should be aware: Your personal number is no more personal henceforth.
In a confirmation which has shattered all conventions of trust and privacy, WhatsApp has admitted that your contact number would be shared with Facebook, whether you have opted in or opted out. In short, if you are using WhatsApp, then they have the right to share your contact details.
Trapped Within WhatsApp Marketing Cycle?
Last week, WhatsApp had informed all their users that in order to ‘explore ways for you to communicate with businesses’, they are sharing users’ contact details with Facebook. This is a noble way of saying that from now on, your contact details would be used for advertisement purposes by marketing agencies, assigned by Facebook.
The silver lining was that, users can opt out of this marketing cycle, by visiting the Settings section of the WhatsApp app, within 30 days.
However, as per a latest revelation by Hindustan Times, a spokesperson from WhatsApp has admitted that whether the user opts in or opts out, their contact number and some basic details about their handset would be shared with Facebook.
He said, “.. the phone number is being shared with Facebook, but it will not be in the public domain. Also some basic device information is being shared: mobile carrier code, identifier, mobile country code.”
What About The Farce Of Opting Out?
The next logical question is, ofcourse, why the farce of opting out presented for the user?
Actually, the opting out feature will not ‘allow’ Facebook to use your number for advertisements and for suggesting people with whom you can connect.
The spokesperson said, “If you choose to opt out, this means Facebook won’t be able to suggest friends or improve the ads you see based on your WhatsApp number,”
Now, this is indeed a tricky revelation and admittance.
WhatsApp’s Marketing Push Decoded
In layman terms, this means that WhatsApp will share your handset details and your contact number with Facebook; but, if you opt out of the advertisement bait, then Facebook won’t use your number.
To be very honest, it will take extreme convincing from WhatsApp to make me believe that despite sharing my number, Facebook won’t use it.
As if to confirm this shocking fact, the spokesperson further said, “Specifically, we will provide Facebook the phone numbers people use to sign up for WhatsApp, along with information about how often people are using our service. This will allow us to improve our app’s performance and ultimately be more transparent about our metrics with the public..”
Who knows, my number can be discreetly shared with other advertisers, besides Facebook, for understanding my psyche and my spending pattern?
Heck, who knows, where else can my number associated with WhatsApp may land up. Not every marketing agency and advertisers’ name in mentioned in the terms and conditions page of WhatsApp.
It only says that if I opt out, then Facebook won’t use it, and this theoretically means that besides Facebook, anyone can use it (because it is being shared, anyways!)
As if to close the argument, the spokesperson finally says, “.. the point is that WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. Facebook owns the computers WhatsApp uses..”
Personally, although I am not a voracious user of WhatsApp, this admittance by them regarding the ‘usage’ of my number has shaken the belief, and I may entirely stop using WhatsApp, because I don’t want marketers to know which movie I may watch with my friends or which type of pizza I like when I am not feeling good.
Are you planning to ditch WhatsApp now? Or you are ok with them sharing your number with Facebook for marketing push? Do let us know by commenting right here!