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WhatsApp Changes Privacy Policy To Let Businesses Send Messages

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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WhatsApp changes terms and conditions to allow businesses to send users messages and to give Facebook more information for ad targeting

WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy so businesses can send users messages and so Facebook can use phone numbers to serve up more relevant ads.

Facebook and WhatsApp have been adamant that in-app advertising would never be added to the messaging application and so the companies have been looking at other ways of monetising the user base.

Since the £19 billion takeover, Facebook has scrapped the annual subscription fee, added voice calls and launched desktop messaging in a bid to increase use and maximise the value of the acquisition.

WhatsApp privacy

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps

“Today, we’re updating WhatsApp’s terms and privacy policy for the first time in four years, as part of our plans to test ways for people to communicate with businesses in the months ahead,” said WhatsApp.

“The updated documents also reflect that we’ve joined Facebook and that we’ve recently rolled out many new features, like end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp Calling, and messaging tools like WhatsApp for web and desktop.

“As we announced earlier this year, we want to explore ways for you to communicate with businesses that matter to you too, while still giving you an experience without third-party banner ads and spam.

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“Whether it’s hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight, many of us get this information elsewhere, including in text messages and phone calls. We want to test these features in the next several months, but need to update our terms and privacy policy to do so.”

The terms and conditions also make reference to the end to end encryption and promise that neither Facebook nor WhatsApp can read the content of messages. They documents also claim Facebook will never share numbers with advertisers for targeted ads.

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