In case you didn't know, Facebook owns WhatsApp. They bought the messaging app that I ignore my mom on for $19 billion in 2014. And now, it seems they're using the data they collected on it to target advertisements at you.
WhatsApp has decided to start sharing user data with Facebook. By “decided,” they mean – of course – that Facebook probably told them to do it, and so they had to.
As Indy100.com points out, a lot of users believe this constitutes as a privacy breach:
As Elizabeth Denham, UK information commissioner (didn't know that was a job, but it sounds very cool) articulates:
The changes WhatsApp and Facebook are making will affect a lot of people. Some might consider it'll give them a better service, others may be concerned by the lack of control. Our role is to pull back the curtain on things like this, ensuring that companies are being transparent with the public about how their personal data is being shared, and protecting consumers by making sure the law is being followed.
Still, Indy100.com shows us how we can stop Facebook from using the data collected on WhatsApp to sell us things. It's extremely simple.
On Whatsapp, look for the pop up that asks you if you want to agree to the new terms and conditions.
Now, for the first time in your life, don't just press “agree” at the speed of light so that you can get on with your aimless life. Instead, click “read more.” (I know: It goes against every instinct in your body.)
There, you can un-check the “Share my WhatsApp account information to Facebook” option.
Now, if you already agreed without thinking about it – because of course you did – you can still fix things. You have a month to opt out on your own.
Go to your account settings. You'll see a tab that says, “Share my account info.” There, you can change the setting that lets Facebook use your profile information to sell you Crocs (or whatever).
Personally, I've never really cared about targeted ads. I assume that corporations dictate the things I buy and do, and spy on me all the time in general. I've come to terms with it. It's like having a really money-oriented and amoral God watching over you.
For me, that God is called J. Crew. He is not merciful.