The updated policy gives WhatsApp permission to share user data including phone numbers with Facebook, claiming the move will better connect the two services.
WhatsApp claims that this will allow the social network to suggest phone contacts as friends, and also show you more relevant ads.
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But the move has sparked privacy concerns among users, who would worry that their private numbers will be shared among not-so-close friends on Facebook.
However, since the announcement, a workaround has come to light, which lets users opt out of sharing their phone numbers with Facebook.
According to Motherboard, there are actually two ways to opt out, depending on whether you’ve blindly accepted the terms already, or not.
The first method has to be done before you accept the messaging app’s new terms of service. Rather than clicking “agree” button, select the smaller “read more” option below it, and untick the box that reads “Share my WhatsApp account information with Facebook…”
The second method is for those who have already accepted those new terms. Since you have 30 days to opt out, you’re still within your rights to backtrack on your initial acceptance of the policy.
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.
When announcing the policy update, WhatsApp promised “we won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers.”
But if you’re still worried about the changes, this gives you the option to block any data sharing for the time being.