Answering your questions about WhatsApp’s January 2021 Privacy Policy update

In January 2021 we began rolling out an updated Privacy Policy, and we have received many thoughtful questions. With some of the rumors going around, we want to answer some of the common questions we have received. We go to great lengths to build WhatsApp in a way that helps people communicate privately.
We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. The changes are related to optional business features on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. Learn more about new business features and WhatsApp's Privacy Policy update here.
The privacy and security of your personal messaging
We can’t see your personal messages or hear your calls, and neither can Meta: Neither WhatsApp nor Meta 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. We will never weaken this security and we clearly label each chat so you know our commitment. Learn more about WhatsApp security here.
We don’t keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling: While traditionally mobile carriers and operators store this information, we believe that keeping these records for two billion users would be both a privacy and security risk and we don’t do it.
We can’t see your shared location and neither can Meta: 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.
We don’t share your contacts with Meta: When you give us permission, we access only the phone numbers from your address book to make messaging fast and reliable, and we don’t share your contacts lists with the other apps Meta offers.
Groups remain private: We use group membership to deliver messages and to protect our service from spam and abuse. We don’t share this data with Meta for ads purposes. Again, these personal chats are end-to-end encrypted so we can’t see their 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. Learn more in this Help Center article.
You can download your data: You can download and see what information we have on your account right from within the app. Learn more in this Help Center article.
Business messaging and how we work with Meta
Every day, millions of people around the world communicate securely with businesses of all sizes on WhatsApp. We want to make this easier and better if you choose to message with businesses. We will always be clear within WhatsApp when you are communicating with any business that uses these features.
Cloud API hosted by Meta: 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 we’re giving businesses the option to use secure hosting services from Meta 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 Meta. To make sure you’re informed, we clearly label conversations with businesses that are choosing to use hosting services from Meta.
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.
Payments on WhatsApp: In countries where Payments is available, WhatsApp's separate payments privacy policies govern, which you can access here. Those privacy policies are not affected by this update.
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