WhatsApp read receipts

As you may have heard, WhatsApp is starting to share some of users’ account data with Facebook (things like your registered phone number and the last time you used the service) to improve targeted advertising and friend suggestions on Facebook and better fight spam on WhatsApp. Thankfully, you can easily opt out, right when the prompt goes up, or within 30 days of accepting the new terms, here’s how.

If you’re not a Facebook user, you can keep using WhatsApp without a Facebook account. Oh, and forgive the Android screenshots in the article as WhatsApp didn’t see fit to share iOS ones.

There are two ways to do this…

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.

How to opt out of WhatsApp Facebook account sharing screenshot 001

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.

How to opt out of WhatsApp Facebook account sharing screenshot 002

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.

You can read WhatsApp’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy here. Additional details about WhatsApp-Facebook data sharing can be found in this support document.

Will you be opting out of WhatsApp-Facebook data sharing?