WhatsApp will start sharing your number on Facebook, here’s how to stop it!


Facebook-owned WhatsApp today updated its Terms and Privacy Policy for the first time in four years to reflect that the messaging service will start sharing select account data with Facebook in order to improve targeted advertising. Wait, does that mean that you’re going to be inundated with ads on WhatsApp? In a word, no—at least for the time being. As per the amended terms of service, “We still do not allow third-party banner ads on WhatsApp.”

Exiting WhatsApp users can opt out of Facebook data sharing in Settings → Account within 30 days of accepting the new Terms and Privacy Policy.

Don’t worry—your messages, photos and other media shared through WhatsApp won’t be automatically posted on Facebook for others to see.

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“We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers,” reads the post.

Again, only account data is shared with Facebook, not your chats and media.

Data sharing is purely for the purpose of improving users’ Facebook ads and products experiences, the company ensures. It also lets it do things like track basic metrics about how often people use these services and better fight spam on WhatsApp.

After accepting data sharing, you’ll see better friend suggestions and more relevant ads on Facebook. “For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you’ve never heard of,” says the firm.

More information is available in this WhatsApp support document.

Thankfully, you can easily opt out, right when the prompt goes up, or within 30 days of accepting the new terms, here’s how.

Method #1

If you haven’t yet accepted the new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy:

1) Launch WhatsApp and you’ll see the updated terms. Tap Read to continue.

2) Scroll the text until you see a check box at the bottom of the screen. If you do not want your WhatsApp account information shared with Facebook, untick the box.

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3) Tap Agree.

Method #2

If you have already accepted the new terms, you will have an additional 30 days to opt out of data sharing by following these simple steps:

1) Launch WhatsApp and tap the Settings tab.

2) Now tap Account.

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3) Untick the box labeled “Share my account info” or toggle the control.

Doing so will stop sharing your WhatsApp account information with Facebook for the purposes of improving ads and products experiences.

When you opt out, the Facebook family of companies will still receive and use this information for other purposes. And what other purposes might these be? According to the official support document, your WhatsApp information is still being used to:

  • Improve infrastructure and delivery systems
  • Understand how these services are being used
  • Secure systems and fight spam, abuse or infringement activities

And that’s all there’s to it.

What if I agree to data sharing?

If you agree to data sharing, things like the mobile phone number your registered with WhatsApp and the last time you used the service will be used by Facebook to improve friend suggestions and make ads more relevant to you.

“Nothing you share on WhatsApp, including your messages, photos, and account information, will be shared onto Facebook or any of the Facebook family of apps for others to see,” ensures the firm.

Also, Facebook currently has no plans to start serving ads through WhatsApp.