MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Two years after it was acquired by Facebook, mobile messaging application Whatsapp said Thursday that it will begin to share some of users' information with the social media giant.
Whatsapp said the move will allow it to better analyze how it's used by people, better fight ad spam and make friend suggestions.
Some of the information shared will include users' phone numbers and analytical data.
The message service emphasized that no user information will be sold to advertisers, however.
"Even as we coordinate more with Facebook in the months ahead, your encrypted messages stay private and no one else can read them. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else. 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 said.
The news, announced with a new terms of service agreement on Thursday, was met with concern by some of the app's billion-plus users -- many of whom use the app particularly because it's concept is based largely in anonymity.
"Many users signed up for WhatsApp and not Facebook, precisely because WhatsApp offered, at the time, better privacy practices," Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said in an email, The New York Times reported. "If the F.T.C. does not bring an enforcement action, it means that even when users choose better privacy services, there is no guarantee their data will be protected."
Also among the changes, Facebook will be able to use a person's phone number to improve its services.