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I use Facebook, but don't have a phone number in my personal details, and don't have a phone number set for recovery. If I lose my FB account, I guess I'll be able to make clear it's mine, so I haven't set a recovery phone number, and otherwise - bad luck! It's not that important to me. I visit FB mainly using my laptop browser, Firefox with Privacy Badger.

On my Android phone I don't have the Facebook app installed, neither FB Messenger. I might open FB in my phone browser, which is Firefox since long, with AdBlock installed. I have used Instagram, but quit using it since they asked for my phone number.

I use Whatsapp, but use a special phone number for this. I do this mainly to keep whatsapp for private use only. Colleagues may use mail, phone and sms. My normal phone number is in my contact list, so I guess that's uploaded to WA, and probably to Instagram as well.

Now I'm wondering, in what ways can Facebook connect this all and know it's all the same person - me?

This all of course considering the recent sharing of data between Whatsapp and Facebook that's going on.

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  • Are you saying that DB does have your actual phone number? Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 16:06
  • Whatsapp is assimilated by FB. Anything on WA will end-up as usable by FB.
    – Overmind
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 9:09
  • WA encrypts all messages. If this still works as it was setup by Moxie (creator of the Signal app and encryption procedure), then WA cannot read any of the messages. They only store encrypted messages. In that case, you cannot say that "anything" is usable by FB.
    – SPRBRN
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 9:56

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There are lots of Artificial Intelligence tools, which even you can't think about... Most simple to understand is explained below :

Facebook is great in face recognition. Your whatsapp profile picture's and your photos on facebook can be easily matched by face hashes. Facebook's facial recongnition algorithms are very good. So the Facial Tags on facebook link you with your mobile number.

Anyways if you are using an alternate number for whatsapp, I can still say that atleast one of your friend who has facebook app. will be having your all contacts linked together under one contact name and that's where facebook is going to get your all alternate contact numbers too. Facebook and whatsapp both do sync. contact numbers. Its not getting synced from your device but is getting from your friend's device.

It will sync. contacts from all your friends and can confirm your name and identity from name saved in their devices. Whatsapp can also read your call logs, sms, browser history, thumbnails, images, sd card data etc...

Spend some time read about permission used by whatsapp and think about if they are really needed by whatsapp...

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  • The legality is already implied in the TOS you accepted, but the ethics of doing that went long out of the window. in some countries consumer privacy concerned parties are moving against FB/WA joining, but not much hope in that. Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 18:46
  • "The legality is already implied in the TOS you accepted," The TOS contains illegal elements in some jurisdictions. Jurisdictions differ wildly on what is and what is not allowed to be done with data.
    – thecarpy
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 8:57

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