WhatsApp has started sending notifications to its users to inform them their data will be shared with parent company Facebook, if they send messages to businesses through the service.
The changes are compulsory and consumers have been warned that their accounts will be deleted if they don’t actively agree by 8th February.
Some of the information shared with Facebook include phone numbers, transaction data, IP addresses and WhatsApp registration codes.
The updates are reportedly being made to help WhatsApp integrate with the rest of Facebook’s portfolio, increase interaction capabilities with companies and collect user financial data. Ultimately, it should offer more opportunities for advertisers to reach people with better targeted promotions.
Some commentators have already expressed concerns about how their data will be users, especially due to Facebook’s history of mishandling of sensitive information. One of the biggest appeals of WhatsApp to many, was the end-to-end encryption of messages which should keep conversations private at least.
Pavel Durov, the founder of rival instant messaging service Telegram, took aim at WhatsApp just before Christmas when announcing his platform’s first wave of premium features.
He assured the community that Telegram will remain independent and continue to strive for perfection and integrity. He added: “As the sad examples of our predecessors show, that is impossible if you become part of a corporation.”
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