WhatsApp collects a large amount of data about you. Here’s how to find out what he knows.
But is there really anything to worry about? What does WhatsApp know about you and can share with its sister companies?
What does WhatsApp know about you?
Here is a list of the different categories of information the company collects:
- Your account information: When you create a WhatsApp account, you have to provide some personal information. This includes your name and phone number. WhatsApp may also ask for your profile picture, which you can choose to provide or not.
- Your messages: WhatsApp provides default end-to-end encryption and does not usually store users’ messages on its servers. However, it stores undelivered messages for up to 30 days, and remains pending when the recipient goes online. WhatsApp also caches redirected media in encrypted form to “help deliver additional redirects more efficiently”.
- Your contact information: Uploading your contacts to WhatsApp is optional. If you upload your contacts from your phone, WhatsApp will have access to the contact information of people in your address book – including contacts not on WhatsApp.
- Case information: WhatsApp collects your status information. In what form does not say.
- Site: When you use any of the location-based features of WhatsApp, it will collect your location information. For example, if you share your live location with a contact, they will be able to see it on the map in real time.
- IP address and device information: When you use WhatsApp, it automatically collects your IP address and device information. This includes information such as your device model, operating system, and other unique identifiers.
- Transaction and payment data: If you use WhatsApp to make a transaction or send money, the app will collect information about the transaction. This includes details such as payment method, shipping details, and payment amount.
- Usage information and history: WhatsApp automatically collects information about how you use the app. This includes your interactions with your contacts, timestamps, and features you use.
WhatsApp shares some of the information it collects with other Meta companies. If you are using a file A data backup service provider like iCloud Or Google Drive, WhatsApp also shares information with those companies.
Here’s a look at how the app shares data with other companies:
- With other profile companies: WhatsApp receives and shares information with other Meta companies “to help operate, provide, improve, understand, personalize, support, and market [it] Services and their offerings, including Meta products. If you’ve ever posted a WhatsApp status and seen the Share to Facebook Story prompt, you’ve seen Meta data sync in action.
- Data backup service providers: WhatsApp also uses data backup service providers like iCloud and Google Drive to store WhatsApp backups. If you enable iCloud or Google Drive backups on WhatsApp, the app will share the information with those companies. This includes your account information, messages, and contact information.
How to get a copy of your WhatsApp data
Now that you know what kind of data WhatsApp collects, you might be wondering how you can get a copy of this information for yourself.
The good news is that WhatsApp makes it relatively easy for users to access and download a copy of their data. The bad news is that the report isn’t as detailed as you’d like, considering the amount of data it collects.
To get a copy of your WhatsApp data, follow these steps:
- Open WhatsApp and go to Settings.
- Faucet the account.
- Choose Request account information.
WhatsApp takes approximately three days to compile your report and make it available for download. You will receive an in-app notification when it is ready.
When you export your report, you will get a zip file containing some HTML files. These files include your account information, contacts, groups, and more.
Get a copy of your WhatsApp data
If WhatsApp stores your data and is likely to share it with its sister companies, it makes sense that you’d want to know exactly what the app knows about you.
Follow the steps above to request a copy of your WhatsApp data. Once you have the report, take some time to browse through it and see what information you have shared with WhatsApp – and by extension, the Meta Companies.