Does WhatsApp collect hardware information from your phone ?
Yes, in the new policy update WhatsApp mentions that it has begun collecting information from our device like “battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP), language and time zone, IP address, device operations information, and identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).” This was not seen in the earlier policies.
What is WhatApp’s policy on deleting an account ?
If you feel the need to delete your WhatsApp account, there are certain updates in it’s new policy that you might have to follow. It states that if someone merely deletes the application from their device without using the ‘delete my account’ feature then, the user’s information will still be stored in their cloud.
Does WhatsApp share your messages with Facebook?
Thankfully, WhatsApp does not share one’s messages with Facebook. WhatsApp remains end-to-end encrypted, so no third party can read them. In a statement, WhatsApp said: “The update does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family… WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy.”
So what kind of data does WhatsApp share with Facebook ?
Ever since Facebook took over WhatsApp, data sharing between the two has been taking place. WhatsApp is know to share the following kind of user’s information -
- Account registration information (phone number)
- Transaction data, since WhatsApp has started online payments on the platform in India
- Service-related information
- Information on how you interact with others (including businesses)
- Mobile device information
- IP address & location
What kind of IP address and location data does WhatsApp store ?
According to WhatsApp’s new policy, it states that ‘it uses Facebook’s global infrastructure and data centers, including those in the United States to store user data’. While this was not mentioned in the earlier policy, it also mentions that in some cases data would be transferred to the US and Facebook’s affiliate companies since “these transfers are necessary to provide the global Services set forth in our Terms.”
As far as a user’s IP address and location is concerned, the new policy states that it collects “IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (city, country), even if one does not have their location services on.
What does the new policy say about data being shared with businesses ?
So, do you have to accept WhatsApp’s new policy ?
Yes, according to the policy, if you want to continue using the application then the user has to accept the new terms and conditions.
These new updates have caused an outrage among people on the internet with many of them deciding to leave the platform. One of the main issue that has been brought up is how all the data that is shared with Facebook is being done for monetary purposes. Another problem is that since this sensitive data is stored online on multiple platforms, it can be easily hacked thus making it very unsafe. In fact, a lot of people like Elon Musk have been requesting their followers to switch over to other platforms like Signal.