WhatsApp, the global messaging app, announced that it will share users’ phone numbers with its parent company, Facebook, in a move that critics say could eventually weaken the company’s commitment to a high-privacy, ad-free experience.
Phone numbers provide valuable marketing information for Facebook, as the site does not require its own users to include a current phone number when making an account. This information would allow Facebook to better target ads for WhatsApp users and suggest friends based on whom they communicate with in the app. Facebook will not have access to messages’ content, however, or be allowed to send ads in WhatsApp itself.
“This is a strong-arm tactic on the part of Facebook,” Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy in Washington, D.C, told the Associated Press. “They continue on a campaign to run roughshod on our privacy rights.” READ MORE.