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WhatsApp users have 30 days to opt-out of information sharing with Facebook

WhatsApp has announced new terms and conditions which notify its approximately 1 billion users that it will share user information with its parent company, Facebook. Existing WhatsApp users have until 25 September to opt-out of sharing user information with Facebook, for ads and products experiences.

The information that will be shared includes the phone number used to verify the WhatsApp account, and the last time the app was used. Facebook will use the information to: make friend suggestions and identify advertising for users on the Facebook platform. Actual message content will not be shared.

The update serves as a reminder to read through terms and conditions of online services before signing up to them, and to configure your app settings to your personal preferences. These options can allow you to choose who is able to view your personal information, including pictures, videos and shared updates. They also help you understand how an organisation may handle your information, including how it will be stored, used and distributed.

Anyone who is concerned about their privacy or has an enquiry can contact us on 1300 363 992 or by emailing enquiries@oaic.gov.au.

Two ways to opt-out

Option one: Opt-out before agreeing to the new terms

  • open WhatsApp and the app will display a prompt to accept the new terms and conditions
  • click ‘Read more about the key updates to our Terms and Privacy Policy’ at the bottom of the screen
  • on the new screen, there is an option to share information with Facebook at the bottom of the screen, uncheck the box or click the slider to appear grey
  • a notification will state how this option has altered the information shared with Facebook.

Option two: Change your settings

If you’ve already agreed to the new terms you have 30 days to opt-out. Go to ‘Account’ and you’ll see a new option for ‘share my account info’. Uncheck the box to opt-out.

Screenshot of WhatsApp Terms and Privacy Policy

A guide to opting-out is available on the WhatsApp website.