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Facebook to start mining WhatsApp user data for ads

Remember that time when WhatsApp said it wouldn't give any of its user data to Facebook after it was acquired by the social media giant?

At the time, WhatsApp said: “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible.” But it seems that commitment was just a short term thing, as the company has now announced that it will be reversing its privacy policies and handing over data on its users to Facebook.

The move is, of course, geared around advertising. By having access to the mobile number people use for their WhatApp accounts, Facebook can track users across the two sites and generate data for targeted advertising.

In a blog post explaining the changes, WhatsApp said: “By coordinating more with Facebook, we'll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp.

"And by connecting your phone number with Facebook's systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you've never heard of.”

The company finished by assuring users that its “belief in the value of private communications is unshakeable," but Facebook seems to have other ideas.

Image source: quka / Shutterstock