Expert commentary:

WhatsApp to share users' phone numbers with Facebook

04 September 2016

Whatsapp recently announced the changes to its privacy terms to facilitate the sharing of user profile information, status messages and phone numbers with its parent company Facebook.

On Thursday, August 25th, WhatsApp updated their Terms of Services agreement and requested each user to ‘Agree’ to the new terms. Unless you clicked on the link for the Terms and Conditions and reviewed them, you would be unaware that, in 30 days, WhatsApp will share various information including contacts and your phone number linked to your account with Facebook.

BDO does not condone nor do they condemn users to agree to sharing their information. However, we simply wish to remind everyone to be aware of agreeing to updated terms without reviewing them first.

There is a possibility to switch off the sharing feature in WhatsApp, even if you have accepted the updated Terms and Conditions.

To turn off your sharing, just follow the following easy steps:

1) Open WhatsApp,

2) Click on SETTINGS,

3) Click on ACCOUNT,

4) Go to the section of SHARE MY ACCOUNT.  Switch this off.

You have 30 days from August 26th to do this before WhatsApp shares your account information with Facebook.

Information about you is very valuable, especially to large social media sites such as Facebook as it contains your contacts and also your phone number and provides for various new ways for Facebook to direct content to you, and those in your contact lists. Each user is entitled to their privacy – be vigilant and keep yours safe. 


 - Ends –

BDO UAE, a company incorporated under the laws of the United Arab Emirates, is a member firm of the BDO network, a worldwide network of professional services firms. Each BDO Member Firm is an independent legal entity in its own country. BDO International Limited is a UK company limited by guarantee. Service provision within the network is coordinated by Brussels Worldwide Services BVBA, a limited liability company incorporated in Belgium with its statutory seat in Brussels. BDO is the brand name for the BDO network and for each of the BDO member firms.


About BDO

BDO UAE is the United Arab Emirate Member Firm of BDO International with 64,300 people working out of over 1,400 offices worldwide.

At BDO UAE, we specialise in helping businesses, whether start-ups or multinationals, to achieve their goals. Through our own professional expertise and by working directly with organisations, we've developed a robust understanding of the factors that govern business growth. Our objective is to use this to help our clients maximise their potential.

We have a partner-led approach, which delivers the highest quality of service by using short, functional chains of communications to aid decision-making. Clients benefit from our fresh thinking, constructive challenge and practical understanding of the issues they face. Developing strong, personal relationships with our clients is at the forefront of our service approach at BDO UAE. 

Media contact: Rita Rosen, 
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