WhatsApp clarifies its privacy policy saying it does not read your messages

WhatsApp has addressed the news and rumors surrounding the massive change to its privacy policy which involves sharing data with Facebook. The company has announced on social media, and on its website, that it does cannot read private messages, or hear calls, and neither can Facebook.

Many users have been upset about this change in WhatsApp’s privacy policy, which has not been opt-in. Users only have an option to stop using the service to avoid the privacy policy change. Many users have already been jumping ship and using other services such as Telegram and Signal, as Facebook is not really popular for handling user data.


WhatsApp cannot see your private messages, clarifies Facebook-owned company

In what might be considered damage control, WhatsApp posted the below graphic on its website and social media accounts:

WhatsApp privacy

WhatsApp also explained each of the above items in further detail in an FAQ on its website. Here is a quick summary:

  • WhatsApp and Facebook cannot read your private messages or hear your calls.
  • WhatsApp does not keep logs of who you message or call.
  • WhatsApp and Facebook cannot see your shared location.
  • WhatsApp does not share your contacts with Facebook. However, WhatsApp does collect your number, as well as numbers of every other WhatsApp user. Along with other identifies, including this line from the privacy policy “We receive information about you from other users”, it should not be difficult to find out a user’s contact list. Who knows if WhatsApp would start sharing this information too with Facebook in the future if Facebook is not already figuring it out.
  • WhatsApp groups remain private, as do the messages shared in them due to end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp says that it does not share any data from the chats with Facebook. However, you can be assured that if you talk about any product, you will see ads for it right away on Facebook and Instagram.

The company has also detailed how users can download their WhatsApp data, and send disappearing messages to contacts.

You can check out the complete FAQ, along with details for WhatsApp business messaging privacy features here.

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