Two years ago, after Facebook bought WhatsApp, CEO Jan Koum stressed that “nothing would change.”

But somehow things have changed! 

On Thursday messaging giant WhatsApp shocked its users by announcing a big change to its privacy policy and said that it would start sharing some user data including your phone number with its parent company.

The company says that the new policy will help you find friends, improve your Facebook ads and and will also give businesses a new avenue to reach potential customers. 

But are we convinced? No and quite predictably WhatsApp has earned a lot of ire for putting the privacy of its users at risk.

Thankfully there is some way out out of this whole fuss. There is an option that lets you partially opt out, specifically for Facebook ad targeting and product-related purposes. Here are the two ways which WhatsApp has mentioned in its blog:

  • The first method has to be done before you accept the messaging app’s new terms of service. Before you tap Agree to accept WhatsApp’s updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, tap Read and scroll to a control at the bottom of the document.  If you do not want your account information shared with Facebook to improve your Facebook ads and products experiences, you can uncheck the box or toggle the control.
  • The second one is for those who have already accepted those new terms. Since you have 30 days to opt out, you can still go back on your initial acceptance of the policy. Just head to the app’s settings menu, and then select the “account” tab. From there, untick the box reading “Share my account info” to prevent any sharing of user data with Facebook.