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WhatsApp: Starts sending some user data to Facebook

Is now sending your phone number to Facebook: WhatsApp.
Is now sending your phone number to Facebook: WhatsApp.
Until now, Facebook and its messenger app WhatsApp have been strictly separated. Now the two companies start connecting their users' data.

WhatsApp introduces end-to-end-encryption of messages to ensure users that no one will be able to read their messages except for themselves and the user they send it to. A measure to build trust. This trust is now at stake again.

The messenger app was acquired by Facebook in February 2014. The giant social network paid 19 billion dollar for WhatsApp. That money has to come back some day, so the WhatsApp users' data has to be used. As a first step, WhatsApp will now send the users' phone number to Facebook. The company wants to use this information to display ads that are more relevant to users and make more relevant friend suggestions. WhatsApp on the other hand wants to use the data to get to know their users and to counteract Spam.

WhatsApp announced the neccessary changes to the terms and conditions in a blog article. WhatsApp says that Facebook will never be able to read what users write about in their chats as they are encrypted.

Over the next months, WhatsApp will eveluate how companies are able to communicate more effectively with users using their messenger. E.g. an airline might tell their passengers about a late flight. These functionalities and other new features and apps like WhatsApp for Desktop are now part of the revised terms and conditions.


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Florian Wimmer, 2016-08-25 (Update: 2016-08-25)