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(Pocket-lint) - Ever since Facebook acquired the WhatsApp messaging app two years ago, users have worried about their privacy.

The app's co-founder wrote a blog post at the time to alleviate their concerns, saying "respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible". But it appears WhatsApp is backtracking a bit on that now.

WhatsApp has announced it will begin sharing some user data with its parent company, such as users' phone numbers, so that Facebook can tailor its friend suggestions by mapping users' social connections between the two services. It'll also help Facebook serve up more relevant ads. Analytics data from WhatsApp will even be used by Facebook to track usage and deter spam.

WhatsApp said it's interested in seeing how businesses can use its app to contact customers. It provided a few examples, such a bank alerting a user about a fraudulent transaction. But in order to test these features, it first needs to update its privacy policy. Keep in mind Facebook has already been testing similar features in Messenger, so the news shouldn't be shocking.

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WhatsApp said users can still "manage these communications", and it isn't getting into third-party banner ads. The app also reminded users that it's all about privacy. For instance, it supports end-to-end encryption.

Writing by Elyse Betters.