Imagine a smartphone without WhatsApp. Well, you literally can’t. Because it is not just any other app, but ‘the’ app that has ruled out all other messengers (our regards to hike) and changed the way communication is done. We no longer message our friends, we ‘WhatsApp’ them.
It was no surprise when Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014. Zuckerberg (owner of Facebook) obviously wanted to dominate the social media and things seem to be working in his favor.
Now, WhatsApp has declared that they will be sharing the user data with Facebook for targeted ads and other advantages. However, the primary concern still remains the privacy of the user which is somewhat compromised in this situation. But Facebook has seriously considered this issue, and a detailed FAQ regarding this change of policy is available online.
But why does Facebook want the data from WhatsApp? Followings are a few reasons.
- WhatsApp is completely ad-free, and will continue to be so. But the company tends to grow its business without bothering the customers with unwanted advertisements. Let’s say, now your bank can directly send you offers as well as awareness in your WhatsApp.
- Another thing that may happen is that you can avoid spams, which is a big positive.
- WhatsApp has already introduced encrypted data, which means only you and the other person can read the messages. Nothing you send will ever be available to WhatsApp or Facebook.
- Facebook may get your last seen, location, mobile carrier details and other details relevant to your phone.
Is this compulsory?
Of course not. Though you cannot completely opt out, but partial opting out is feasible.
The sharing of data being introduced is not a mandatory option, and you can still use WhatsApp without opting for this. You can choose to deactivate the connection between Facebook and WhatsApp, here’s how!
Option 1: You can choose to not accept this particular policy.
Option 2: If you have already accepted (we blame you not, who reads privacy policies?) go to settings -> Account -> Share Account Info and uncheck the option. But this option is only available for 30 days, so the clock’s ticking.
Should I link my account?
This actually depends on your needs. If you do not want targeted advertisements and any changes in your WhatsApp choose no. However, this can actually help in interacting with businesses and future endeavors.
Best option: Accept the policy, try it for a week and see if that suits you, and you always have a 30-day choice to opt out.
It’s too early to say whether it is beneficial or not, but technology will always improve, so it’s better to embrace it.