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Find out what WhatsApp knows about you
© Sergei Elagin |
Security & privacy

How to see all the data the world’s most popular messaging app has on you

Most social apps have some direct messaging system built-in. Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are a few examples. Facebook replaced its chat function with Messenger in 2011, which is now a standalone app.

Until a few years ago, you could create a Messenger account without ever having a Facebook account. That’s not the case anymore, but you can create a Facebook account with Messenger and then deactivate Facebook. Tap or click here to learn more.

WhatsApp is immensely popular and is known for its ease of use and end-to-end encryption. There’s now a way to download your data and see everything WhatsApp knows about you.

The world’s most popular messaging app

WhatsApp has a global reach, with 2 billion users accessing the app monthly, according to Statista. That’s a lot of data going around. Wouldn’t it be great to see the part you play in it?

Researchers at WABetaInfo say WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature that lets you request account information. The report includes your activity information, privacy settings, device details and contacts, among other bits of data. The report will not contain your messages.

With the WhatsApp Desktop beta version 2.2219.3, you can request info using the desktop app. It’s available for download for Windows PC and Mac. You’ll need the beta version of WhatsApp Desktop for the request info function on your computer.

Already on mobile

The feature has been available on iOS and Android for some time. You can request a report now by opening the WhatsApp app and selecting Settings > Account > Request account info > Request report.

Your report will typically be available three days after requesting it, indicated by the Ready by date. You’ll have some time to download the report, after which it is deleted from WhatsApp’s servers.

You may want to check up on your privacy settings in the meantime. Go to Settings > Account > Privacy and review each setting. You can control who sees your status, the chats where you are sharing your live location, your blocked list, Read Receipts and more.

Remember who owns WhatsApp?

If you’d like to get an idea of the data gathered on you by WhatsApp, take a look at its parent company. Meta is notorious for collecting your Facebook data such as the location where a photo was taken, your pages and groups, your usage, purchases you made using Facebook products, your device details, cookies and more.

Thanks to the Privacy Center, which launched this past January, you can check up on your privacy and security settings. Tap or click here for 10 Facebook privacy settings you should check up on right now.

Facebook even tracks your activity when you’re not on its site. You can see see the third-party apps and services you connected to Facebook over the years and cut them off one-by-one. You can do the same with third-party accounts linked to your Google account. Tap or click here and we’ll show you how.

Keep reading

7 ways to privately share your photos

End-to-end encryption comes to Facebook Messenger – Here’s how to enable it

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