Facebook is seeking to better tailor its adverts by harvesting up to a billion mobile phone numbers from its messaging service WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s founders’ have long championed privacy, but two years after the app’s $21.8bn acquisition, Facebook is looking to monetise its investment.
The move will still come as a surprise to some users, especially given that the opt-out only partially works.
But it still gets access to the data.
WhatsApp said: “The Facebook family of companies will still receive and use this information for other purposes such as improving infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how our services or theirs are used, securing systems, and fighting spam, abuse, or infringement activities.”
If you want to use the partial opt-out, you have two options, which are outlined on WhatsApp’s website.
If you’ve already agreed signed up, go to Settings > Account > Share my account info. Uncheck the box to partially opt out.
Users have 30 days to agree to the new terms and then 30 days to partially opt out thereafter.
Of course, if you don’t want WhatsApp to share your phone number with Facebook, there is an alternative.