WhatsApp, Facebook Integration: How to Opt Out

WhatsApp

Most users if not all have heard about WhatsApp, Facebook data sharing, what they might have not heard is how to opt out.

Well, it is true Facebook will be collecting some user information from WhatsApp and you have 30 days to act. The instant messaging titan announced on Thursday that it has altered its privacy policies to pave way for ads.

At the time WhatsApp was being sold to Facebook, co-founders – Jan Koum and Brian Action – assured us that the takeover would not interfere with the app’s privacy conviction. In fact, after Facebook’s acquisition the company was allowed to operate independently with Koum as the CEO. The app has remained ads-free until a few days ago, seemingly the urge to make money has surpassed the belief that the app was built on – simple and instant messaging service free from ads.

Change is inevitable and we have to change with changes. We’ve researched and found out two ways to get yourself off the hook and you better act quick before your phone number is dropped in a sea of hungry brands starving to reach as many potential customers as possible.

Method 1

Have you ever bothered yourself to read WhatsApp terms and conditions while installing the app? If not, then you will have to do it this time around. The chat client will be prompting users with a pop-up menu asking you to accept new terms and conditions. If you have already accepted the terms then this is not the method for you. For those who have not accepted them or rather have not seen such a menu while opening the app, please wait until that happens, and when it does don’t agree, look for some small “read more”  at the bottom click on it then uncheck the box with-“Share my WhatsApp account information with Facebook”.

WhatsApp

Method 2

In any case, you agreed to the terms blindly, there is still a way to get yourself out, but must be done within 30 days from August 25, 2016. Head to Settings menu on your WhatsApp, tap Account tab, there you will find a button “share my account info”, uncheck the box and WhatsApp will not hand over your data to Facebook and the family of companies.

From what WhatsApp said, the data shared will be used to improve services offered by Facebook and itself as well as help businesses and brands reach prospective customers. The company cited a case where banks would want to reach customers over sham transactions or a flight using customer’s phone number to get in touch over a delayed flight.

Finally, beware of copyrighted content. The change of privacy policy was long due and did not just address ads, WhatsApp is also tightening grip on personal property protection. According to the new changes, flouting someone’s patent could lead to your WhatsApp crack down. Copying details such as profile name or profile pictures are considered infringement. However, it is still not clear whether the list includes audio, video or music files because reading or storing messages will be a violation of the end-to-end encryption policy used across the app, so basically the company cannot justify cases involving such.

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