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How to Stop WhatsApp From Giving Facebook Your Phone Number

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WhatsApp has finally done what was being feared since long. Almost two and a half years after its acquisition by Facebook, WhatsApp has changed its privacy settings. The new privacy settings allow for the phone numbers of WhatsApp users to be shared with the Facebook. This will allow Facebook to run analytics on user activity. Along with the targeted ads which you will receive, Facebook will also use your number to send friend requests to people to whom you talk on WhatsApp but are not friends with on Facebook. In addition to the two mentioned purposes, WhatsApp has said in an FAQ that it is doing so to count the unique number of users and fight spam.

However, if you want to opt out of this, WhatsApp has given a 30 day window to do so and outlined both the methods in its FAQ. They work in both the iOS and the Android.

Method 1: Read the terms and conditions

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When you update your WhatsApp to the latest version, you will be presented with the new terms and conditions. You have to “Agree” to the new privacy policy before you can proceed. However, that does not mean you should agree to giving away your phone number to Facebook if you don’t want to. Just scroll down the entire terms and conditions and there you are, at the bottom you will find a box which gives you an option to not share your number. Simply “Uncheck” that box and you are done.

Method 2: In Your Settings

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No need to worry if you have agreed to the new privacy policy without unchecking the box at the bottom. Just go to your WhatsApp’s settings. Tap “Account” and there you are with box titled “Share my Account Info” in front of you waiting for you to uncheck it

Are we done?

Yes for the Ads part we are done but not for the rest. Sadly, even if we opt out of this Ad targeting part, Whatsapp will still send our data to the Facebook for other purposes. As per WhatsApp data will be sent to Facebook “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.”

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