Why does WhatsApp use my phone number and my address book?

We ask for your phone number because that is how WhatsApp routes chat messages between you and your contacts, similar to how the SMS system would.

Your address book information

WhatsApp users do not have access to your address book information, unless you share a contact using the "Share Contact" feature in a chat. We value your privacy and we have not, do not, and will not ever sell your personal information to anyone. If you would like to learn more, please take a look at our Privacy Policy that helps explain our information practices.

WhatsApp uses the phone numbers from your phone's address book to provide you an up-to-date list of WhatsApp users you know to make it easier for you to message them via WhatsApp. WhatsApp regularly looks at the phone numbers in your address book and then checks to see which of those numbers are verified in WhatsApp. This allows any WhatsApp users from your address book to appear as contacts in your Favorites list (Contacts tab on Android) and the Chats screen. During this entire process, phone numbers are sent to WhatsApp for lookup, securely, over an encrypted connection. So that you know who you are chatting with, the app then displays the names from your address book.

Cheers,
WhatsApp Support Team