The Ways Facebook uses your WhatsApp information

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When the most popular social network bought the most used messaging platform around the world said that it would not use data from WhatsApp customers. We tell you why you need this information. When WhatsApp announced just a year ago – in August 2016 – that it was going to share its users’ phone numbers with Facebook and that it would provide data to companies, many took their hands to the head. It was the first time the messaging platform changed its privacy policy since it was purchased by the social network in 2014. It meant, without a doubt, more advertisements and less privacy. And some users felt betrayed by what they considered a “breach of trust,” Pamela Clark-Diskson of technology consultancy Ovum told the BBC.

This Thursday, the European Commission (EC) agreed with them to announce the imposition of a $ 120 million fine on Mark Zuckerberg’s company for providing “misleading information” when it bought WhatsApp. This is the first time that Brussels has sanctioned a company for lying during a merger process.

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The fine is “proportionate and dissuasive,” said Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition Policy. “Companies have to comply with all aspects of European Union merger regulations, including the obligation to provide correct information,” the European Commissioner said in a statement. And the social network did not do so when it assured (and reiterated) that it would not link the accounts between users of both services. Facebook said through a spokesman that it “acted in good faith” and that it tried to provide “accurate information at all times”.

But the truth is that when you updated your privacy policy to use WhatsApp phone numbers not only deceived the European institutions, but also their own users. Why did he take that risk? These are some of the reasons.

Offering “relevant” friendship suggestions

One of the main reasons why Facebook wants your phone number is to be able to connect it with someone with whom you have exchanged text messages but had not yet added as a “friend” in the social network. We recommend: The failure of the new states of WhatsApp If it still has not happened to you, do not be surprised if you get the suggestion of the neighbor’s phone contact or the plumber who wrote to you by WhatsApp to see what time he came home. Of course, the decision whether to add them to Facebook or not … is up to you.

Send personalized advertising

It is no secret that Facebook sends personalized advertisements to its users. Just do a Google search on a specific topic to appear related ads on the social network about what asked the search engine. And brands use it to their advantage, sending their advertising to “categories” of users according to their age, interests, geographical area and many other data.

But the information you get from you through WhatsApp can also serve you for this purpose. The new system for sending selective advertising through WhatsApp is already under way, according to a report released by the Reuters news agency in March after gaining access to an internal document. According to the research, companies will be able to send “targeted ads” to their potential customers directly through WhatsApp.

The idea is that companies pay WhatsApp in exchange for being able to send messages to users of the application. “We want to improve experiences with ads and products,” Facebook said in this regard when it acquired the most used messaging service worldwide. “By connecting your number with Facebook systems we can show you ads that are relevant to you,” the company said in its blog.

Know when you last logged in

Whatsapp also shares information with Facebook about the last time you used the service. This may not seem relevant at first glance, but it can be vital to know if you are an interesting target to send advertising across the platform and compile statistics on how you use the application.

In fact, you can know what time you go to bed and get up just by checking your use of the service, if you use the platform continuously. Facebook says it does not share the content of the messages and that these are encrypted. You might be interested in: You can delete sent messages in WhatsApp “Your encrypted messages remain private and no one else can read them, nor Whatsapp, Facebook or anyone else,” the company’s blog says.

Is it possible to avoid it? When Facebook changed its privacy policy in August 2016, it asked its

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