WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy – Rumors and Reality Explained !

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With the new WhatsaApp’s Privacy Policy update, many rumors and false information is being circulated regarding the same . If you too are having any questions or any doubts regarding this new policy then you are at the right place.

Lets find out what’s legitimate and what’s not.

The new WhatsApps’s policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how WhatsApp collects and usees data.

The privacy and security of your personal messaging on WhatsApp:

WhatsApp can’t see your private messages or hear your calls, and neither can Facebook. Neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read your messages or hear your calls with your friends, family, and co-workers on WhatsApp. Whatever you share, it stays between you. That’s because your personal messages are protected by end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp will never weaken this security and they clearly label each chat so you know their commitment.

WhatsApp doesn’t keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling: While traditionally mobile carriers and operators store this information, WhatsApp believes that keeping these records for two billion users would be both a privacy and security risk and WhatsApp doesn’t do it.

WhatsApp can’t see your shared location and neither can Facebook: When you share your location with someone on WhatsApp, your location is protected by end-to-end encryption, which means no one can see your location except the people you share it with.

WhatsApp doesn’t share your contacts with Facebook: When you give WhatsApp permission, they access only the phone numbers from your address book to make messaging fast and reliable, and they don’t share your contacts lists with the other apps Facebook offers.

Groups remain private: WhatsApp uses group membership to deliver messages and to protect their service from spam and abuse. They don’t share this data with Facebook for ads purposes. Again, these private chats are end-to-end encrypted so they can’t see users’ content.

You can set your messages to disappear: For additional privacy, you can choose to set your messages to disappear from chats after you send them.

You can download your data: You can download and see what information WhatsApp has on your account right from within the app.

Facebook hosting services: Messaging with businesses is different than messaging with your family or friends. Some large businesses need to use hosting services to manage their communication. Which is why WhatsApp is giving businesses the option to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions, and send helpful information like purchase receipts. But whether you communicate with a business by phone, email, or WhatsApp, it can see what you’re saying and may use that information for its own marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Facebook. To make sure you’re informed, WhatsApp clearly labels conversations with businesses that are choosing to use hosting services from Facebook.

New commerce features: People increasingly want to be able to shop from businesses online. With Facebook branded commerce features like Shops, some businesses will display their goods right within WhatsApp so people can see what’s available to buy. If you choose to interact with Shops, your shopping activity can be used to personalize your Shops experience and the ads you see on Facebook and Instagram. Features like this are optional and when you use them we will tell you in the app how your data is being shared with Facebook.

Discovering a business: You may see an ad on Facebook with a button to message a business using WhatsApp. If you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, you’ll have the option to message that business. Facebook may use the way you interact with these ads to personalize the ads you see on Facebook.

Information Collected by WhatsApp:

WhatsApp must receive or collect some information to operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market their Services, including when you install, access, or use their Services.

The types of information WhatsApp receives and collects depends on how you use their Services. WhatsApp requires certain information to deliver their Services and without this they will not be able to provide their Services to you. For example, you must provide your mobile phone number to create an account to use the Services.

Their Services have optional features which, if used by you, requires them to collect additional information to provide such features. You will be notified of such collection, as appropriate. If you choose not to provide the information needed to use a feature, you will be unable to use the feature. For example, you cannot share your location with your contacts if you do not permit them to collect your location data from your device. Permissions can be managed through your Settings menu on both Android and iOS devices.

Information You Provide to WhatsApp:

Your Account Information: You must provide your mobile phone number and basic information (including a profile name of your choice) to create a WhatsApp account. If you don’t provide them with this information, you will not be able to create an account to use their Services. You can add other information to your account, such as a profile picture and “about” information.
Your Messages: They do not retain your messages in the ordinary course of providing their Services to you. Instead, your messages are stored on your device and not typically stored on WhatsApp servers. Once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from WhatsApp servers. The following scenarios describe circumstances where we may store your messages in the course of delivering them:
Undelivered Messages: If a message cannot be delivered immediately (for example, if the recipient is offline), WhatsApp keeps it in encrypted form on their servers for up to 30 days as they try to deliver it. If a message is still undelivered after 30 days, WhatsApp deletes it.
Media Forwarding: When a user forwards media within a message, WhatsApp stores that media temporarily in encrypted form on their servers to aid in more efficient delivery of additional forwards.
End-to-end encryption: End-to-end encryption means that your messages are encrypted to protect against WhatsApp and third parties from reading them.
Your Connections: You can use the contact upload feature and provide WhatsApp, if permitted by applicable laws, with the phone numbers in your address book on a regular basis, including those of users of their Services and your other contacts. If any of your contacts aren’t yet using their Services, WhatsApp will manage this information for you in a way that ensures those contacts cannot be identified by us.
Status Information: You may provide WhatsApp your status if you choose to include one on your account.
Transactions And Payments Data: If you use their payments services, or use their Services meant for purchases or other financial transactions, they process additional information about you, including payment account and transaction information. Payment account and transaction information includes information needed to complete the transaction (for example, information about your payment method, shipping details and transaction amount). If you use their payments services available in your country or territory, their privacy practices are described in the applicable payments privacy policy.
Customer Support And Other Communications: When you contact WhatsApp for customer support or otherwise communicate with them, you may provide them with information related to your use of their Services, including copies of your messages, any other information you deem helpful, and how to contact you (e.g., an email address). For example, you may send WhatsApp an email with information relating to app performance or other issues.

Automatically Collected Information by WhatsApp:

Usage And Log Information: WhatsApp collects information about your activity on their Services, like service-related, diagnostic, and performance information. This includes information about your activity (including how you use their Services, your Services settings, how you interact with others using their Services (including when you interact with a business), and the time, frequency, and duration of your activities and interactions), log files, and diagnostic, crash, website, and performance logs and reports. This also includes information about when you registered to use their Services; the features you use like their messaging, calling, Status, groups (including group name, group picture, group description), payments or business features; profile photo, “about” information; whether you are online, when you last used their Services (your “last seen”); and when you last updated your “about” information.
Device And Connection Information: WhatsApp collects device and connection-specific information when you install, access, or use their Services. This includes information such as hardware model, operating system information, 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).
Location Information: WhatsApp collects and uses precise location information from your device with your permission when you choose to use location-related features, like when you decide to share your location with your contacts or view locations nearby or locations others have shared with you. There are certain settings relating to location-related information which you can find in your device settings or the in-app settings, such as location sharing. Even if you do not use their location-related features, they use IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (e.g., city and country). They also use your location information for diagnostics and troubleshooting purposes.
Cookies: WhatsApp uses cookies to operate and provide their Services, including to provide their Services that are web-based, improve your experiences, understand how their Services are being used, and customize them. For example, they use cookies to provide their Services for web and desktop and other web-based services. WhatsApp may also use cookies to understand which of their Help Center articles are most popular and to show you relevant content related to their Services. Additionally, WhatsApp may use cookies to remember your choices, like your language preferences, to provide a safer experience, and otherwise to customize their Services for you.

Third-Party Information:

Information Others Provide About You: WhatsApp receives information about you from other users. For example, when other users you know use their Services, they may provide your phone number, name, and other information (like information from their mobile address book) just as you may provide theirs. They may also send you messages, send messages to groups to which you belong, or call you. WhatsApp require each of these users to have lawful rights to collect, use, and share your information before providing any information to us.
You should keep in mind that in general any user can capture screenshots of your chats or messages or make recordings of your calls with them and send them to WhatsApp or anyone else, or post them on another platform.
User Reports: Just as you can report other users, other users or third parties may also choose to report to WhatsApp your interactions and your messages with them or others on their Services; for example, to report possible violations of WhatsApp Terms or policies. When a report is made, WhatsApp collect information on both the reporting user and reported user.
Businesses On WhatsApp: Businesses you interact with using their Services may provide WhatsApp with information about their interactions with you. WhatsApp require each of these businesses to act in accordance with applicable law when providing any information to us.
When you message with a business on WhatsApp, keep in mind that the content you share may be visible to several people in that business. In addition, some businesses might be working with third-party service providers (which may include Facebook) to help manage their communications with their customers. For example, a business may give such third-party service provider access to its communications to send, store, read, manage, or otherwise process them for the business. To understand how a business processes your information, including how it might share your information with third parties or Facebook, you should review that business’ privacy policy or contact the business directly.
Third-Party Service Providers: WhatsApp works with third-party service providers and other Facebook Companies to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market their Services. For example, WhatsApp works with them to distribute their apps; provide their technical and physical infrastructure, delivery, and other systems; provide engineering support, cybersecurity support, and operational support; supply location, map, and places information; process payments; help them understand how people use their Services; market their Services; help you connect with businesses using their Services; conduct surveys and research for us; ensure safety, security and integrity; and help with customer service. These companies may provide WhatsApp with information about you in certain circumstances; for example, app stores may provide WhatsApp with reports to help them diagnose and fix service issues.

Third-Party Services: WhatsApp allows you to use their Services in connection with third-party services and Facebook Company Products. If you use their Services with such third-party services or Facebook Company Products, they may receive information about you from them; for example, if you use the WhatsApp share button on a news service to share a news article with your WhatsApp contacts, groups, or broadcast lists on their Services, or if you choose to access their Services through a mobile carrier’s or device provider’s promotion of their Services. Please note that when you use third-party services or Facebook Company Products, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services and products.

Hope this article helped you clear some doubts regarding this new policy.

Thank You so much for reading.

Ciao.

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