WhatsApp Privacy Policy Changed: It Will Share Your Phone Number With Facebook

WhatsApp Privacy Policy Changed: It Will Share Your Phone Number With Facebook

Facebook owned WhatsApp announced that it will share you phone number with mother company Facebook. This is the first time WhatsApp privacy policy has changed in last 4 years. WhatsApp who claimed to be committed to protecting user’s data and privacy has taken a ‘U’ turn.

In a blog post they confirmed the move to share user data with Facebook to integrate businesses with messaging platform. The blog recalls notable features like WhatsApp Web, Calling and end-to-end encryption before dropping the bomb.

WhatsApp Privacy Policy History

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum claimed no changes to be made in future when Facebook acquired the company in this blog post. This is what he had to say about their new partnership with Facebook and changes for users:

Today we are announcing a partnership with Facebook that will allow us to continue on that simple mission. Doing this will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand, while giving me, Brian, and the rest of our team more time to focus on building a communications service that’s as fast, affordable and personal as possible.

Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.

It is clear that WhatsApp has decided to make some money after offering free service for so long without any ads. The company has over 1 billion users worldwide. It seems like a right time to reap the reward. There is a great revenue prospect with such kind of active user base.

How Does It Affect A User?

There will be no change in user experience at least for now. You will not be seeing any intrusive ads like other messaging apps. WhatsApp clarifies that it will use your contact number to deliver better friends suggestions and relevant ads based on the “coordination” between two companies. You might receive notifications from business you are associated with like a bank or an airline. Your bank may send notification about a fraudulent transaction, or an airline informing you about the cancelled flight.

The blog does not go in detail about how WhatsApp data can be used to show you relevant ads in Facebook. Your experience is not going to change for sure but a lot of things will change in the background.

How To Avoid Sharing Contact Number

You have 30 days to make the decision. If you have already opted-in and want to change that now then you still have some time on your side to change your decision. You can head to this post to understand how to stop sharing your contact number with Facebook.

There is a mixed reaction about this change among WhatsApp users. I am concluding this chilly news on this note that “ads are coming”.

I am an experienced technology enthusiast. I am a technical trainer in an MNC in Delhi NCR. What fascinates me are the machinations of technology’s biggest companies. Got a question? Contact me on Twitter , Google+, my professional Facebook page.
How To Protect From Windows 10 Privacy Issues

How To Protect From Windows 10 Privacy Issues

There has been so much hullabaloo about online privacy and NSA spying on our online presence in recent time. Undoubtedly we are indebted to Snowden for his ground breaking and NSA shaking revelations. In other way he has made all of us paranoid about our privacy and this new kid in the neighbour aka Windows 10 is earning quite a reputation for gathering the data and sending it back to mommy Mirosoft datacenter.

This is the guide for you to stop this naughty kid to gather your information (geolocation, contact details, online browsing history etc) and let it flow across the wire on the other side of the globe. Are you ready for getting this kid fixed. Lets get started.

If you don’t fancy new Windows 10 Cortana digital assistant and puts your privacy above all then you can also use an offline account while setting up Windows for the first time. 

You can use Local accounts over Microsoft Account
You can use Local accounts over Microsoft Account

Disable Sync

While setting up your new Windows 10 you must have specified your Microsoft account to proceed. Once its done your computer will start syncing data with Microsoft servers including browser history, favorites, mobile hotspot/Wi-FI networks names and passwords etc. Sounds scary? isn’t it? You have a way out.

Privacy Settings in Windows 10
Privacy Settings in Windows 10

Head into Privacy available under Settings and you will find 13 different pages to restore your privacy. There are different sections for controlling the usage of your inbuilt hardware by apps and sharing your advertisement ID, geo location, email and calendar etc. Review each setting carefully and turn it off which you find intrusive towards your privacy.

Disable Cortana (Protect Privacy)

I am pretty sure you must have heard the great thing Cortana does for you in Windows 10 like Siri for Apple. There are some nice tricks it can do for you by bargaining your private information. Cortana accesses your browsing history, contacts, calendars. It does not stop there it also watches your moves on your device and captures how you use your device like your favorite shopping websites, lock screen of your device, music which you listen to etc. It may not be concerning for you if you ain’t a privacy advocate but this definitely helps Microsoft in delivering the advertisements especially for you.

Disabling Cortana on Windows 10
Disabling Cortana on Windows 10

You can click on search option right next to your Start menu and click on the setting icon as you can see in the snapshot posted above. You will find the way to shut this spy down.

Turn Off Geo Location

Windows 10 is capable of using your geo location and if your device has inbuilt hardware then nothing like it. You can stop tracking of your geo location by heading into privacy settings and hit “Location”. You can turn off location tracking for your device which may affect your ability to use maps and other apps which rely on your location.

You can also selectively allow applications to use your location by choosing from the list of installed apps. That may look something like this.

Location Tracking in Windows 10
Location Tracking in Windows 10

There are other important settings which you can configure similarly. Remember that apps can use your camera, microphone and radios. Make the best use of this information and stay safe online and enjoy Windows 10.

I am an experienced technology enthusiast. I am a technical trainer in an MNC in Delhi NCR. What fascinates me are the machinations of technology’s biggest companies. Got a question? Contact me on Twitter , Google+, my professional Facebook page.