WhatsApp on the recitation of the policy, explained that it would be sharing the users’ information with all of its Facebook Companies to operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market its services, at times when you install, access or use its services. On its word Facebook Companies, the other companies than whatsapp, that would be fetching your info are:
Facebook Payments Inc. (https://www.facebook.com/payments_terms/privacy) and Facebook Payments International Limited (https://www.facebook.com/payments_terms/EU_privacy)
Facebook Technologies, LLC and Facebook Technologies Ireland Limited (https://www.oculus.com/store-dp/)
What Information does WhatsApp collect from Users?
The info-aggregation by WhatsApp starts from the time you provide your number and continues until you use its service. Let me just point it out.
Account Information – Your Phone Number & your basic information (profile name)
Your Undelivered messages & Media – The messages that aren’t delivered to the users alone are stored in WhatsApp’s servers. And in the case of media, all photos and videos that you send to your chats are stored temporarily in its servers, says WhatsApp.
WhatsApp doesn’t store all of your messages.
Your contacts – WhatsApp knows all of your contacts, their basic info like name and their ‘about’ in WhatsApp.
Financial transactions and your account details – only if you use its payment services.
These are all some information of yours that is shared with WhatsApp and above-mentioned Facebook companies, directly by your actions. Inspite of this, WhatsApp also collects some infos automatically, as listed below.
Usage & Log Information – This includes the chats you frequently visit, the person you talk the most to, call logs, duration of your calls, your activities, performance logs, and reports.
Remember “Your Frequent Chats”, that appears first when you forward any text/media? That’s an example for these info-collections.
Device & Connection Information – A to Z of your phone’s software and hardware, including your mobile network, battery level, ISP, time zone, IP address, browser information and operating system information.
Location Information & Cookies – Locations that you share, or others share with you are saved. And cookies imply for web or desktop-based WhatsApp services.
Third Party Information – If any of your contact-list person uses the service, he/she shares your basic information, as you share theirs.
Third Party Service Providers – These are the companies that WhatsApp may seek information from, at chances of any diagnose or server-issues. For example, Play Store or Google may provide them information about us, at WhatsApp’s request to fix any issue.
By the way, WhatsApp confirms that it won't allow any of Third Party Ads in its app services.
For Business-Accounts in WhatsApp
These users-reports and services all apply to the Business Account of WhatsApp too, with a bonus service of providing other metrics of majority of users to that business.
Simultaneously WhatsApp collect users’ information and their activities from their interactions with business accounts too.
As WhatsApp acquainted that amassing of these infos are to operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market its services, that would be best matchable with users to enjoy the service, no need of panicking on this issue.
And FYI, all your apps in the smartphone, your web-searches on google or any other search-engine, collect specific details of you, no matter how strongly you disagree. To the base, if at all you use a smartphone, your information is collected.
Even Google knows more of you, than WhatsApp.
With this piece of note, lets know about alternatives to WhatsApp, before making the decision.
Alternatives to WhatsApp
As most of you might have heard about alternatives, Telegram and Signal Apps could be a best serve to users, compromising WhatsApp; Since both of the platforms affirms quality and privacy of its users, beyond WhatsApp.
Signal has announced that it has a record level of downloads for the app around the world. “Between WhatsApp announcing they would be sharing everything with the Facebook mothership and the Apple privacy labels that allowed people to compare us to other popular messengers, it seems like many people are interested in private communication,” it said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also tweeted, ‘Use Signal’ & within days Signal app sees Top Trending Free App in both Play store and App Store. The Economic Times reported that Signal downloads were up 38%. On Wednesday, it saw 2,200 people installing the app, up from 1,600 in the preceding week as per SensorTower data.
Its not bad sticking to WhatsApp, but give it a try for Signal :)
On the other hand, Telegram’s Founder & CEO Pavel Durov, "Imagine dozens of employees working on just that full-time. I am happy to save Facebook tens of millions of dollars and give away our secret for free: respect your users," said in a statement.
Yes / No to WhatsApp?
If you wish to continue using WhatsApp, you need to accept the new terms and
conditions before Feb 8, 2021. If you do not wish to, WhatsApp too, suggests deleting your account. And you can opt either of the alternatives as your chat-app.
For users who have already accepted the new terms and conditions, but do not want WhatsApp to share data with Facebook, or other businesses, they will have an additional 30 days to opt out and delete their account.
WhatsApp just improved its platform for marketing and business activities, though by sharing info with Facebook, but nevertheless it mentioned the lack of privacy or safety of its app. Henceforth,
Yes / No, your information is already shared.