In 2014, when Facebook bought WhatsApp, Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s co-founder, assured millions of its users that the deal would not affect their privacy.
Announcing this move in a blog post, WhatsApp said on Thursday that it would start disclosing the phone numbers and analytics data of its users with Facebook which will be used to help target advertising and find friends. This is what the company said,
”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.”
Besides that, WhatsApp is also exploring ways for businesses to send messages using its platform over the next months which could mean that messages you get from your bank might soon start coming on your WhatsApp account.
“We will allow you and third parties, like businesses, to communicate with each other using WhatsApp, such as through order, transaction, and appointment information, delivery and shipping notifications, product and service updates, and marketing. For example, you may receive flight status information for upcoming travel, a receipt for something you purchased, or a notification when a delivery will be made.”
The blog also talks about the end-to-end encryption, which was rolled out this year and says while the company will coordinate with Facebook in the coming months, it won’t post or share your number with others.
But privacy concerns still remain and this update only multiplies the concerns of users who were sceptical when Facebook bought WhatsApp as they feared that their data could one day be misused.