WhatsApp, once hailed as one of the most secure messaging apps available today, will begin sharing its user data with parent company, Facebook, after a significant update to the WhatsApp privacy policy.

WhatsApp Will Connect Your Phone Number To Facebook — But Why?

One of the goals of "coordinating more with Facebook" and sharing personal information, such as phone numbers, with the social network is to build better targeted ads aimed at a specific market segment.

By linking your phone number with Facebook's systems, the social network can "show you more relevant ads if you have an account" with a company.

"We want to explore ways for you to communicate with businesses that matter to you too," WhatsApp explains, "while still giving you an experience without third-party banner ads and spam."

Facebook — as a free social media platform — makes money by closely examining the different market segments that use the site and dishing out ads built uniquely for a target audience. With the help of WhatsApp now, Facebook can mine user data better.

And with more than a billion users thriving on each platform, Facebook has built up a diverse (and not to mention, massive) collection of target audiences to explore. All it needs to do is to use the information WhatsApp will offer and drill down deeper into the data to better connect advertisers to these audiences.

Facebook raked in a revenue of $6.24 billion in the second quarter of 2016 just from advertising. This explains why it might be looking to the messaging platform as another source of user data.

How To Opt Out Of Sharing Your WhatsApp Account Information With Facebook

There are two ways to choose not to share your WhatsApp personal details with Facebook. The first is when you see the initial notice on the new privacy policy; the second is when you go to the Settings of your account to reverse your decision, in case you opted in the first time.

Option 1:

• When viewing the new privacy policy update, click "Read."
• At the bottom, you will see an option to share your WhatsApp info. Simply click the box to uncheck.

Option 2:

• If you've clicked to opt in before but would like to opt out now, you have 30 days to reverse your option by going to the Settings.
• From the Settings, navigate to Account > Share my account info. Just click the box to uncheck the option to share.

Photo: Sam Azgor | Flickr

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