Did you know that Facebook has a way of mining your #WhatsApp data? If not, I suggest you read the terms and conditions, an important step that I am sure we all skip from time to time. 

According to reports from Fusion.net, #social media powerhouse Facebook purchased WhatsApp back in 2014 and assured its users that their privacy would not be affiliated in any way and WhatsApp would still be able to operate independently. However, for its one billion users the promise made by WhatsApp is not being fulfilled.

The information that WhatsApp will be mining will include people's phone numbers and other analytical information which includes: how often the app opens, operating system, screen resolution, and your respective mobile carrier.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The information is then used by Facebook to target ads that caters to people as well as make friend recommendations.

If you still are not amused by this, here is some good news.

Users of WhatsApp can opt-out of their information being shared... sort of. Here are the steps to do so:

  • Facebook is receiving your data regardless but you have 30 days to let them know that you do not want your information to be used.
  • What it actually read is as follows: "improve its ads and product experiences" according to Fusion.net. So when you see that just click the box that says 'no.'
  • So if Facebook doesn't already have your phone number they would not be able to use it to target you with ads and recommend friends to you.

WhatsApp explained in a blog post that users can opt-out by not checking the box whenever the new terms and conditions appear when you open up the application.

Advertisements

However, if you forget to do so and click anyways, you can undo your action by going to account and unchecking the box that says 'share my account info.' 

It is necessary for Facebook to include this action for users to have the option to do this because they have landed in hot water with the Federal Trade CommissionFac (FTC) for not being truthful with their consumers about privacy. The FTC reminded Facebook that is necessary for them to get the users 'affirmative consent' before moving forward with any decision making that may infringe upon their privacy. 

In this situation, users are in a lose-lose situation where if you opt-in or opt-out Facebook will still be able to gain access to your information for targeted ads and friend recommendation; if you choose not too, it will help the app become better in regards to "spam, securing systems, improving delivery systems, abuse, or infringement activities," according to a WhatsApp blog.

Whether or not you want to use the app or quit it is your decision. Just be sure that you have you weigh all the pros and cons before you do. #DataMining