Facebook and WhatsApp users are fuming over the parent company using data collected from phone numbers to target ads. The backlash is far-reaching. Some WhatsApp users have left the chat service over this announcement. Frankly, this blogger didn’t blame them. Unfortunately, this blogger wants updates through her phone on news related items, so Facebook had my cell number. WhatsApp requires users to give their cell number to validate the account. I only chat with one person, even though other friends use that chat service.
I don’t mind the Facebook targeting their ads to me as long as they are beneficial. It’s to their credit they have been so lately. However, this blogger understood users outcry of both system’s determination to make a profit from their targeted ads. This is a breach in their promise not to use collected data from WhatsApp. The social media giant bought the app two years ago. Back then, a $5 price hike concerned its users.
Facebook must be hard up for members to breach its agreement with its users. While it is a great place to gather trending news topics, it wasn’t the only choice. There was a time when I’d get three or four alerts on the same trending news story from different outlets. It is difficult deciding which one to use. The link easiest to use won. That ranked People near the bottom because their stories were removed a lot.
While Facebook remained quiet about this latest announcement, users of these services can stop it. With the encryption added, no one outside of the sender or receiver can read messages. They didn’t share anyone’s posts from WhatsApp on Facebook or send a list of cell numbers to advertisers. On the flip side, sharing one’s number got targeted ads, better friend requests and fight spam. I’ve noticed that unverified accounts on Facebook are removed. Before accepting the TOS agreement on WhatsApp, remove the check mark from the box that reads ‘share my account with Facebook’, then put a check mark in the agree to the TOS box. If it was already checked, go to the account section and remove the check mark from ‘share account info’. This blogger plans to check her account on WhatsApp and Facebook.