Privacy at a Glance: Additional Information for Channels

When you use WhatsApp Channels, we collect some limited information about you. We hope this guide, together with our main Privacy at a Glance guide, will help you to understand what information we collect, what we do with it, and how your privacy rights work.

How does Channels work?

Channels is an optional, one-way broadcasting feature within WhatsApp, which allows ‘admins’ to create their own channel and share ‘channel updates’ for others to view. Both non-followers (known as 'viewers') and 'followers' of a channel can view and react to channel updates.
Channels are public, which means if you create a channel, other users may be able to find, follow, and view your channel and see your channel updates.
Channels is separate from messaging on WhatsApp. Using Channels has no impact on the privacy of your personal WhatsApp messages, which continue to be end-to-end encrypted.

Information we collect

When you use WhatsApp, we collect information from you as described in Privacy at a Glance. If you choose to use Channels, we collect some additional information from you. This could be:
  • If you’re a channel admin:
    • The name that you choose for your channel
    • Other information that you choose to add to the channel, such as a picture, a channel description, or links to other websites
    • Channel updates that you share, such as text or audio content, videos, photos, images, documents, links, gifs, stickers, and polls
  • If you’re a follower or a viewer:
    • Channels you follow
    • Your reactions to channel updates (for example, poll votes or emojis)
    • Your language choices
  • For all Channels users:
    • Your activity on Channels, such as which channels and channel updates you follow or view and your reactions to channel updates
    • Usage information, such as which Channels features you use, your searches within the Channels directory and the date, time, frequency, and duration of your Channels activity
    • Technical information relating to how well Channels is working when you use it, such as crash data, performance logs, and error messages
    • User reports made by others about your channel or specific channel updates or user reactions

Sharing your information

Your information may be shared by you, or by us, with other people or organizations when you use Channels. For example:
  • It’s important to remember that channel updates shared by admins are public and can be seen by others. You should be careful about what information you share on Channels. Anyone can take screenshots or make recordings of channel updates and send them to other people or post them in other places online. Learn more about safety and privacy on Channels for admins.
  • Admins, followers and viewers can share links with other people and invite them to follow or view a channel. If these links are shared on other Meta Company Products or on other services, Meta and those services will receive information about the channel, such as the name, description, picture, and number of followers.
  • We work with other Meta Companies to help keep you safe when you use Channels. For example, this could be to help protect you against harmful conduct or to investigate possible violations of our policies or the law. We also share information with other Meta companies to help us provide Channels, as described in Privacy at a Glance.
  • When you’re a channel follower or viewer, you’re not visible to other viewers or followers of that channel, and they can’t see how you interact with channel updates. This means they can’t see your name, phone number, or profile picture.
  • Admins who aren’t contacts may see your profile photo and how you interact with their channel content. Admins can’t see your full phone number or profile name unless they have you saved as a contact.
If you become an admin of a channel that has one or more admins, your phone number will be shared with the other admins. Learn more about safety and privacy on Channels.

What we do with your information

As described in Privacy at a Glance, we only use your information in line with legal requirements. This could be:
  • To meet the terms of our contractual agreement with you
  • Where we believe we have a legitimate business reason that is not outweighed by any impact on your privacy rights
  • To protect the key interests of you and other people, including physical and mental health, well-being, and safety
  • Where you have consented to us using certain information
How we use your information will vary depending on how you use Channels. For example, this may include:
  • If you are a channel admin:
    • Enabling you to create and manage your channels and to share and edit channel updates. Learn how to edit channel updates and how to delete channel updates
    • Providing you with access to information relating to your channel, such as the number of views of a channel update, reactions to channel updates, and your WhatsApp contacts following your channel
  • If you are a follower or a viewer:
    • Enabling you to follow/unfollow, view, or mute/unmute a channel and to forward or react to a channel update
  • For all Channels users:
    • Creating and maintaining a directory of channels by category, so that you can search for channels that are of interest to you
    • Showing channels to you based on your country or location and language preference
    • Understanding how users are interacting with Channels
    • Detecting, preventing and investigating suspicious activity, harmful behavior, and breaches of our terms and guidelines

Your privacy rights

You have certain rights when we use your information in connection with Channels. You can find out more about these rights in Privacy at a Glance.
You can also request a copy of your Channels information or move this information using the ‘Request channels report’ option under the ‘Request account info’ feature (in WhatsApp, go to Settings > Account).
If admins delete a channel, this will remove:
  • the channel; and
  • all channel updates from the admin’s WhatsApp account, which will no longer be accessible to other users
Learn more about how to delete a channel.
Note: If other users have copies of channel updates on their device, or have forwarded the channel updates to other people, these will not be deleted when a channel is deleted. It is important to remember this when sharing or posting channel updates.
Thank you for using Channels, we hope you’ve found this guide helpful.
You can find more details about your privacy rights and about how we use your information in our Teen Information Center, Privacy at a Glance and our Channels Supplemental Privacy Policy.

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