WhatsApp says that “In order to use our Services, you consent to manually or automatically download and install updates to our Services” and details the safety as well as security policies and how your usage is analyzed with the data being used to supposedly improve the app.
This will be applicable for all WhatsApp platform versions, including WhatsApp for Android, WhatsApp for iPhone, WhatsApp web, and so on.
WhatsApp says that they collect user information to be able to provide services and customize the experience for the user. Among the information that you share with WhatsApp are your mobile phone number and your profile name to create and run a WhatsApp account.
WhatsApp insists that they do not retain your messages and says that messages that you send and receive aren’t typically stored on their servers. “Once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from our servers.”
However, there are scenarios where your messages may stay on WhatsApp servers temporarily—that is if a message remains undelivered for a certain period of time up to a maximum of 30 days in the encrypted form, after which it is deleted as well as media forwards that are temporarily stored in encrypted form to improve the efficiency of additional forwards.
“Even if you do not use our location-related features, we use IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (e.g., city and country). We also use your location information for diagnostics and troubleshooting purposes,” is a very clear message.
For Businesses On WhatsApp, the Facebook owned instant messenger says that businesses on the platform can share your information with third-party service providers. And that includes Facebook—this can include communications to send, store, read, manage and process them for business.
WhatsApp makes it clear that they do share information with other Facebook companies. “We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products,” say the updated terms of service.
Some of the listed utilities for this data sharing are believed to help in improving infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how a user uses the platforms differently and also promote data safety and security across the board.
Mind you, this also means that your data will be used to serve personalized suggestions as well as advertisements targeted at you and your usage trends across a variety of platforms. The WhatsApp updated terms say this is for “improving their services and your experiences using them, such as making suggestions for you (for example, of friends or group connections, or of interesting content), personalizing features and content, helping you complete purchases and transactions, and showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products.”
If you are wondering what Facebook Company Products mean, we’ll let Facebook explain it anyway—” Facebook Products include Facebook (including the Facebook mobile app and in-app browser), Messenger, Instagram (including apps such as Boomerang), Portal-branded devices, Oculus Products (when using a Facebook account), Facebook Shops, Spark AR Studio, Audience Network, NPE Team apps and any other features, apps, technologies, software, products or services offered by Facebook Inc.”