Facebook has defended itself on the controversial data sharing scheme with the popular mobile messaging platform WhatsApp.
In a statement to Channels Television on August 31, 2016, Ime Archibong, Director of Global Products Partnership at Facebook said, explaining the policy behind the company’s move, “One of the policy changes that we made recently was all about trying to make sure we could unlock the business user connections that already exist.”
He further explained that this would allow small scale business owners to leverage on WhatsApp, as a powerful platform for their business, and contribute to the world’s growth at large, including Africa.
Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014.
“We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers,” WhatsApp added.
In our previous report, we found that WhatsApp user’s account information will not be shared only with the social networking giant, but across the Facebook’s family, which involves companies such as Atlas, Instagram, Onavo, Parse, Moves, Oculus, LiveRail, and Masquerade.
Also read: WhatsApp isn’t sharing your info only with Facebook, and you can’t opt out
According to AP, the ads would come through Facebook program called ‘Custom Audiences’, letting a business upload lists of customers and phone numbers or other contact information it has collected from warranty cards or other sources. Facebook subsequently matches the list to the users with the same information to show relevant ads.