A while back. Facebook made a $19 Billion offer to acquire instant messaging service WhatsApp. Following the acquisition, the majority of users worried that WhatsApp would begin sharing their data with Facebook. WhatsApp CEO responded to these claims stating the company had no such intention in a blog post. An excerpt of the blog post stated
Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don’t have to give us your name and we don’t ask for your email address. We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address. We don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for on the internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that.
In a blog post, WhatsApp says it will soon allow Facebook to access your phone number. The move means that soon users will begin to see more ads on Facebook based on their behavior from WhatsApp, though the messaging service will not offer any ads itself. Part of the blog post reads: By connecting your phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you’ve never heard of.
Facebook has been looking for ways to monetize WhatsApp with some of the suggestions revolving around making WhatsApp a CRM tool for businesses. WhatsApp says that messages will remain private and that they will not sell user data to advertisers. The company, however, says the increased collaboration with Facebook will allow them to track basic metrics about how often people use their services and better fight spam on WhatsApp.