The new policy will connect Facebook and WhatsApp accounts, meaning that the app can share users’ phone numbers with Facebook.
This will give the social media juggernaut access to more data concerning individuals, which will open up the privacy protection debate.
Messages will continue to be encrypted, but the changes will mean it will be able to gain access to further data like device type and software information.
This could range from a doctor’s appointment notification to a flight reminder from the specific business.
WhatsApp said they would also allow “marketing” messages, but it would not display banner adverts in the app.
“By coordinating more with Facebook, we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp. And 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,” WhatsApp said.
“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.”