Millions of users use WhatsApp services to exchange data that include your chats, photos, videos, voice messages, files, and sharing location information. WhatsApp introduced end-to-end encryption back in April 2016. Well, end-to-end encryption is great. You would be interested in exploring that is end-to-end encryption messaging apps private enough?
Vast amount of users find WhatsApp safe enough to use and thinks that the conversation via WhatsApp is protected and not accessed by third party. Well, let’s explore the safety measures taken by WhatsApp to ensure the safety of the user data.
WhatsApp Safety Measures
The messages (includes chats, photos, videos, voice messages, files, and share location information) you sent over the WhatsApp are stored in the WhatsApp servers for 30 days, if it is not delivered.
WhatsApp states that they have built privacy, end-to-end encryption, and other security features into WhatsApp. They don’t store your messages once they’ve been delivered. When they are end-to-end encrypted, we and third parties can’t read them.
WhatsApp recommends to not use public Wifi as the hacker can spy on your conversation via man-in-middle attack. Well, it is hard to decrypt the encrypted information but not impossible.
WhatsApp says that you are only responsible for keeping your device and WhatsApp safe and secure. It is obvious that falling your smartphone in wrong hands could lead to misuse of your data.
The data WhatsApp collect
At the time of registration the user provide the information like Contact Address, Phone number, Smartphone hardware information. WhatsApp collect usage information of the user.
WhatsApp states that “We collect device-specific information when you install, access, or use our Services. This includes information such as hardware model, operating system information, browser information, IP address, mobile network information including phone number, and device identifiers. We collect device location information if you use our location features”.
Other than this the information you provide your profile picture, status, last usage of the WhatsApp service, online status and receipts (timestamp). It stores sender information, receiver information and the timestamp of messages.
User’s data that WhatsApp share
WhatsApp share your information with Facebook. Though you have uncheck the box that states that Share my account info to avoid Facebook ads and product experiences, it does share. WhatsApp clearly states that “The Facebook family of companies will still receive and use this information for other purposes”.
WhatsApp says that the messages are end-to-end encrypted, we and third parties can’t read them. And in another statement they says that…
“WhatsApp messages will not be shared onto Facebook for others to see. In fact, Facebook will not use your WhatsApp messages for any purpose other than to assist us in operating and providing our Services.”
If WhatsApp messages are encrypted and none can read them including WhatsApp then how they claim that “messages are not shared onto Facebook for others to see and Facebook will not use your WhatsApp messages for any purpose other than to assist us in operating and providing our Services”. It clearly states that they have access to your messages.
It states that “We may collect, use, preserve, and share your information if we have a good-faith belief that it is reasonably necessary” in it’s Law and Protection section.
WhatsApp do share your information with third-party. The statement by WhatsApp clearly states “We work with third-party providers to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services. When we share information with third-party providers, we require them to use your information in accordance with our instructions and terms or with express permission from you.”
Nowhere in any statement WhatsApp states that your data is safe, secure and not shared with anyone. You data is shared with Facebook and third-party services. Well, Limit your information on WhatsApp to gain some amount of privacy, avoid using Profile Picture, avoid using Location services.
Well, nothing is private over the internet. Share your thoughts with us via comments. Keep sharing. Stay tuned to Tech Tunes.
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