New WhatsApp Build Exposes Setting That Will Share User Data With Facebook

23 January 2016, 7:45 am EST By Dave Calpito Tech Times
Tech Talk: The Evolution of Messaging
A developer has discovered a purported hidden setting on the WhatsApp beta version. This setting could share the users' data with Facebook.  ( Javier Santos | Google Plus )

WhatsApp could soon be bringing in significant changes to its app. A new rumor suggests that the latest app update could share user data with Facebook. 

Developer Javier Santos uncovered a hidden setting in the beta version of WhatsApp for Android which enables users to "[s]hare my WhatsApp account information with Facebook to improve my Facebook experiences."

The setting connects the messaging app to Facebook, WhatsApp's parent company. Exactly why such a setting exists is not yet known.

The setting is only present in the app's beta version, which has yet to be rolled out. Locating it is also a bit tricky, and you need to do some terminal hacking before you can finally get there.

Since the setting can only be found in the beta build of the app, and considering that there is still no official word from the company, we don't know yet whether this setting is going to be incorporated into the next update or if this is going to be turned on by default.

Although a bit troubling, here is how to go to this setting, according to Santos:

1. Open a terminal.
2. Enter these commands:

> su
> am start -n com.whatsapp/com.whatsapp.TosUpdateDetailsActivity

In January, the Facebook-owned startup announced it is dropping its $1 yearly fee. It's a good move because although the $1 fee is affordable, the requirement for a credit or debit card prevents some people from giving the app a try. WhatsApp also said it will not serve up ads. 

"Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from," said WhatsApp.

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