Privacy at a Glance
When you use WhatsApp, we collect some limited information about you. We hope this guide will help you understand what information we collect, what we do with it, and how your privacy rights work.
When we say 'information', we mean information that could be used to personally identify you, like your name or phone number. This also includes other information that could be linked to you. This is how we collect information:
- You provide the information to us.
For example, you must provide your phone number when you sign up for WhatsApp.
- When you use WhatsApp, we automatically collect technical information.
For example, we need details about your internet connection in order to send messages.
- Other WhatsApp users provide information about you.
For example, your friends and family may add you as a WhatsApp contact.
Information we collect
We need to collect information from you so you can use the WhatsApp service. This could be:
- Information you provide to us, including:
- Your phone number and whatever profile name you choose
- Your profile picture or ‘about’ information, if you choose to add them
- Your contacts
- Information related to the communities, groups and broadcast lists you join
- Your WhatsApp settings
- Information you provide when contacting WhatsApp customer support
This information is not ‘end-to-end encrypted’, which means we are able to see it.
However, when you use WhatsApp to send personal messages, make calls, post status updates, or share your location (when you turn on location sharing in chats) this will be end-to-end encrypted. This means that only you and the people you chat with can read your messages, hear what you talk about, see your status updates, or see your location. No one else can see any of this, not even WhatsApp. Learn more here.
- Technical information, including information about:
- How you use WhatsApp
- How well our services are working when you use them
- Your device, your internet connection, and your general location (for example, country).
- Information about you that we receive from others, including:
- If another user uploads your number to WhatsApp from their address book
- If another user reports you because they think your messages are against our Terms, our policies, or the law (for example, if you’re sending spam messages).
Sharing your information
Your information may be shared by you or by us with other people or organizations when you use WhatsApp. For example:
- You share information when you communicate with others through our services. Remember to be careful about what you share on WhatsApp. Other users might take screenshots of your messages or make recordings of your calls with them and then send them to other people or post them online. Learn more about how to use WhatsApp responsibly.
- Depending on your privacy settings, other users who have your phone number will be able to see your profile picture, your ‘about’ and ‘last seen’ information, and your message read receipts. These users may also be able to add you to groups and communities, which means other members of those groups would then be able to see certain information about you. Learn more about how to change your privacy settings.
- When you join WhatsApp groups or communities, other members will see certain information about you. For example, when you are added to a group, all members of the group will see your phone number. When you send a message to a group, your chosen profile name will become visible to the recipients of the message, including users who do not have you in their contact list. Learn more about how to change your group privacy settings. To protect your privacy when you join a community, your phone number is only visible to community admins, people who have saved you as a contact, and people who have your number from other chats. Learn more here.
- If you interact with other services through WhatsApp, some information will be shared with them. For example, if you back up your WhatsApp chats to iCloud or Google Drive, the providers of these services will receive the information you share with them, including your WhatsApp messages. When you use WhatsApp to view content from services like YouTube or Facebook, we need to share some technical information with them to make this possible.
- WhatsApp is part of Meta, and we work with other Meta Companies to help provide, improve and support each other's services. If you choose to integrate your WhatsApp experience with other Meta products, we will share some information with Meta to make this possible. For example, you can choose to share your WhatsApp status updates to Facebook. We may also receive and share information with other Meta products to make your experience with our products better, including for safety purposes.
- We also share your information with partners, such as companies that provide telecoms technology or security solutions, so that they can help us provide the WhatsApp service to you. When we share your information, we require that these partners use your information in the way we direct them to.
- We share your information with law enforcement (for example, the police) or other public authorities if we receive valid legal requests from them.
What we do with your information
We only use your information in line with legal requirements. This could be to:
- meet the terms of our contractual agreement with you
- where you have consented to us using certain information
- where we have a legal obligation that we must meet
- where we believe we have a legitimate business reason that is not outweighed by any impact on your privacy rights.
How we use your information will vary depending on how you use WhatsApp. For example, this may include:
- Assisting you in creating and managing your WhatsApp account
- Ensuring your messages and calls are secure with end-to-end encryption
- Sending and receiving end-to-end encrypted messages (including voice messages) and calls to and from your contacts
- Enabling you to broadcast your status updates with the contacts of your choice
- Helping you find out if your contacts are WhatsApp users if you choose to sync the address book on your device
- Allowing you to create, join, leave and participate in groups and communities
- Monitoring the performance of our services and fixing issues that occur
- Assisting you in backing up your chat history in the cloud
- Providing customer support to you
- Improving our products and services by creating new features and updating existing ones
Your privacy rights
You have certain privacy rights when we use your information. These include your right to:
- request access to your information
- receive a copy of it
- correct it
- delete it
In some countries, you also have the right to object to how we use your information (under certain circumstances). However, there are some exceptions to these rights, so we may not always be required to comply with your requests.
- Request a copy of your information or move your information using the 'Request account info' feature (in WhatsApp, go to Settings > Account).
- Update or delete your information using the 'Change number' and 'Delete my account' features (go to Settings > Account).
You can also change your privacy settings at any time. Learn more here. Alternatively, you can use the 'privacy checkup' feature (go to Settings > Privacy) to change your privacy settings. Learn more about privacy checkup.
We handle your information with care
- We only keep your information for as long as we need it. For example, we use your information to provide our services to you and to comply with our legal obligations. When we no longer need your information, we delete it within a reasonable time period.
- When we share your information with other Meta Companies or our partners, we only share what is necessary for our business operations or to provide you with our services. We have safeguards in place to protect the privacy and security of your information if it is sent to other countries.