- Individual and Group chats are Encrypted
Neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read your private messages or hear your calls as they are end-to-end encrypted. The company doesn’t keep logs of who you message or call. It states that mobile operators traditionally save this information, but WhatsApp does not as saving data for 2 billion users will be a huge security risk.
- Can Facebook See your WhatsApp Contacts or Location?
Concerned WhatsApp can see your exact location or contact list? And will it share the same with Facebook to better target ads? The FAQ page states that it cannot see your shared location. The messaging giant says the live location you share within the app is also end-to-end encrypted and only visible to the sender and recipient.
As for your contacts list, WhatsApp states it “accesses only the phone numbers from your address book to make messaging fast and reliable.” It does not share the same with Facebook. Your group chats are also said to be private and will not be used for targeting ads or abuse by third-parties. You can better ensure privacy by setting the message to disappear after 7 days. It is a feature that WhatsApp introduced earlier last year as an added privacy measure.
- Data Sharing Happens When you Interact with Businesses
When you use the Facebook Shops feature, which is slowly being integrated into the WhatsApp Business app, your shopping activity (how to interact with products or any business) can be “used to personalize your experience.” This feature is optional, which means you will willingly not contact businesses to not share any data with them or Facebook.
So essentially, WhatsApp means to say that it will share your data with Facebook if you choose to interact with businesses or shop via its messaging app. “You have the option not to use these features” to keep businesses from saving chats, using your information for marketing purposes, sharing it with third-parties, and more. Though business chats are clearly labeled, you will have to tread carefully to protect your data from being used by third-parties.
Now that WhatsApp has clarified its stance, declaring that your personal chats are safe and end-to-end encrypted, but your business chats can be stored and that data be used for ads or marketing purposes. Will you be making the switch away from WhatsApp to Signal or Telegram? Let us know in the comments below.