Last modified: April 24, 2018
Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA. Since we started WhatsApp, we've aspired to build our Services with a set of strong privacy principles in mind.
If you live in a country in the European Economic Area (which includes the European Union), and any other included country or territory (collectively referred to as the European Region), your Services are provided by WhatsApp Ireland Limited ("WhatsApp Ireland"), which is also the data controller responsible for your information when you use our Services.
If you live in any other country, except those in the European Region, your Services are provided by WhatsApp LLC, which is also your data controller responsible for your information when you use our Services.
Please also read WhatsApp's Terms of Service ("Terms"), which describes the terms under which you use our Services.
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Information We Collect
WhatsApp must receive or collect some information to operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services, including when you install, access, or use our Services. The types of information we receive and collect depend on how you use our Services.
Information You Provide
- Your Account Information. You provide your mobile phone number and basic information (including a profile name) to create a WhatsApp account. You provide us, all in accordance with applicable laws, the phone numbers in your mobile address book on a regular basis, including those of both the users of our Services and your other contacts. You may provide us an email address. You may also add other information to your account, such as a profile picture and about information.
- Your Messages. We do not retain your messages in the ordinary course of providing our Services to you. Once your messages (including your chats, photos, videos, voice messages, files, and share location information) are delivered, they are deleted from our servers. Your messages are stored on your own device. If a message cannot be delivered immediately (for example, if you are offline), we may keep it on our servers for up to 30 days as we try to deliver it. If a message is still undelivered after 30 days, we delete it. To improve performance and deliver media messages more efficiently, such as when many people are sharing a popular photo or video, we may retain that content on our servers for a longer period of time. We also offer end-to-end encryption for our Services, which is on by default, when you and the people with whom you message use a version of our app released after April 2, 2016. End-to-end encryption means that your messages are encrypted to protect against us and third parties from reading them. Learn more about End-to-End Encryption and Businesses on WhatsApp.
- Your Connections. To help you organize how you communicate with others, we may help you identify your contacts who also use WhatsApp, and you can create, join, or get added to groups and broadcast lists, and such groups and lists get associated with your account information. You give your groups a name. You may choose to provide a group profile picture or description.
- Customer Support. You may provide us with information related to your use of our Services, including copies of your messages, and how to contact you so we can provide you customer support. For example, you may send us an email with information relating to our app performance or other issues.
Automatically Collected Information
- Usage And Log Information. We collect information about your activity on our Services, like service-related, diagnostic, and performance information. This includes information about your activity (including how you use our Services, your Services settings, how you interact with others using our Services, and the time, frequency, and duration of your activities and interactions), log files, and diagnostic, crash, website, and performance logs and reports. This also includes information about when you registered to use our Services, the features you use like our messaging, calling, Status, or groups features, profile photo, about information, whether you are online, when you last used our Services (your "last seen"), and when you last updated your about information.
- Device And Connection Information. We collect device and connection-specific information when you install, access, or use our Services. This includes information like hardware model, operating system information, battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, and mobile network, connection information including phone number, mobile operator or ISP, language and time zone, and IP, device operations information, and identifiers like device identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).
- Location Information. We collect device location information if you use our location features, like when you choose to share your location with your contacts, view locations nearby or those others have shared with you, and the like, and for diagnostics and troubleshooting purposes such as if you are having trouble with our app's location features. We use various technologies to determine location, including IP, GPS, Bluetooth signals, and information about nearby Wi-Fi access points, beacons, and cell towers.
- Information Others Provide About You. We receive information about you from other users and businesses. For example, when other users or businesses you know use our Services, they may provide your phone number, name, and other information (like information from their mobile address book or in the case of businesses, additional information about you such as unique identifiers), just as you may provide theirs, or they may send you a message, send messages to groups to which you belong, or call you. We require each of these users and businesses to have lawful rights to collect, use, and share your information before providing any information to us.
- Businesses On WhatsApp. Businesses you interact with using WhatsApp provide us information about their interactions with you. A business on WhatsApp may also use another company to assist it in storing, reading, and responding to your messages on behalf of and in support of that business. Please note that when businesses use third-party services, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services and their use of your information on those services.
- Third-Party Service Providers. We work with third-party service providers and the Facebook Companies to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services. For example, we work with companies to distribute our apps, provide our infrastructure, delivery, and other systems, supply location, map, and places information, process payments, help us understand how people use our Services, market our Services, help you connect with businesses using our Services, conduct surveys and research for us, and help with customer service. These companies may provide us information about you in certain circumstances; for example, app stores may provide us reports to help us diagnose and fix service issues.
- Third-Party Services. We allow you to use our Services in connection with third-party services and Facebook Company Products. If you use our Services with such third-party services or Facebook Company Products, we may receive information about you from them; for example, if you use the WhatsApp share button on a news service to share a news article with your WhatsApp contacts, groups, or broadcast lists on our Services, or if you choose to access our Services through a mobile carrier's or device provider's promotion of our Services. Please note that when you use third-party services or Facebook Company Products, their own terms and privacy policies will govern those services.
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How We Use Information
We use the information we have (subject to choices you make) to operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services. Here's how:
- Our Services. We use the information we have to operate and provide our Services, including providing customer support, and improving, fixing, and customizing our Services. We understand how people use our Services and analyze and use the information we have to evaluate and improve our Services, research, develop, and test new services and features, and conduct troubleshooting activities. We also use your information to respond to you when you contact us.
- Safety And Security. We verify accounts and activity, and promote safety and security on and off our Services, such as by investigating suspicious activity or violations of our Terms, and to ensure our Services are being used legally.
- Communications About Our Services And The Facebook Companies. We use the information we have to communicate with you about our Services and features and let you know about our terms and policies and other important updates. We may provide you marketing for our Services and those of the Facebook Companies. Please see How You Exercise Your Rights for more information.
- No Third-Party Banner Ads. We still do not allow third-party banner ads on WhatsApp. We have no intention to introduce them, but if we ever do, we will update this policy.
- Commercial Messaging. We will allow you and third parties, like businesses, to communicate with each other using WhatsApp, such as through order, transaction, and appointment information, delivery and shipping notifications, product and service updates, and marketing. For example, you may receive flight status information for upcoming travel, a receipt for something you purchased, or a notification when a delivery will be made. Messages you may receive containing marketing could include an offer for something that might interest you. We do not want you to have a spammy experience; as with all of your messages, you can manage these communications, and we will honor the choices you make.
- Measurement, Analytics, And Other Business Services. We help businesses who use WhatsApp measure the effectiveness and distribution of their services and messages, and understand how people interact with them on our Services.
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Information You And We Share
You share your information as you use and communicate through our Services, and we share your information to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services.
- Send Your Information To Those You Choose To Communicate With. You share your information (including messages) as you use and communicate through our Services.
- Account Information. Your phone number, profile information, about information, last seen information, and receipts may be available to anyone who uses our Services, although you can configure your Services settings to manage certain information available to other users and businesses with whom you communicate.
- Your Contacts And Others. Users and businesses with whom you communicate may store or reshare your information (including your phone number or messages) with others on and off our Services. You can use your Services settings and the block feature in our Services to manage the users of our Services with whom you communicate and certain information you share.
- Businesses On WhatsApp. We help businesses who use WhatsApp measure the effectiveness and distribution of their services and messages, and understand how people interact with them on our Services.
- Third-Party Service Providers. We work with third-party service providers and the Facebook Companies to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services. When we share information with third-party service providers and the Facebook Companies in this capacity, we require them to use your information on our behalf in accordance with our instructions and terms.
- Third-Party Services. When you use third-party services or Facebook Company Products that are integrated with our Services, they may receive information about what you share with them. For example, if you use a data backup service integrated with our Services (like iCloud or Google Drive), they will receive information you share with them. If you interact with a third-party service linked through our Services, you may be providing information directly to such third party. Please note that when you use third-party services or Facebook Company Products, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services.
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How We Work With Other Facebook Companies
We are part of the Facebook Companies. As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, the 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. This includes helping improve infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how our Services or theirs are used, helping us provide a way for you to connect with businesses, and securing systems. We also share information to fight spam, threats, abuse, or infringement activities and promote safety and security across the Facebook Company Products. However, your 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.
Learn More about how WhatsApp works with the Facebook Companies.
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Assignment, Change Of Control, And Transfer
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How The General Data Protection Regulation Applies To Our European Region Users
Our Legal Bases For Processing Information
We collect, use, and share the information we have as described above:
- as necessary to fulfill our Terms;
- consistent with your consent, which you can revoke at any time;
- as necessary to comply with our legal obligations;
- occasionally to protect your vital interests, or those of others;
- as necessary in the public interest; and
- as necessary for our (or others') legitimate interests, including our interests in providing an innovative, relevant, safe, and profitable service to our users and partners, unless those interests are overridden by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms that require protection of personal data. Learn More
How You Exercise Your Rights
Under the General Data Protection Regulation or other applicable local laws, you have the right to access, rectify, port, and erase your information, as well as the right to restrict and object to certain processing of your information. This includes the right to object to our processing of your information for direct marketing and the right to object to our processing of your information where we are performing a task in the public interest or pursuing our legitimate interests or those of a third party. You can access or port your information using our in-app Request Account Info feature (available under Settings > Account). You can access tools to rectify, update, and erase your information directly in-app as described in the Managing and Deleting Your Information section. If we process your information based on our legitimate interests or those of a third party, or in the public interest, you can object to this processing, and we will cease processing your information, unless the processing is based on compelling legitimate grounds or is needed for legal reasons. You can also object to our processing of your information and learn more about your options for restricting the way we use your information by going here. Where we use your information for direct marketing for our own Services, you can always object and opt out of future marketing messages using the unsubscribe link in such communications, or by using our in-app "Block" feature.
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How We Process Your Information
For all people who have legal capacity to enter into an enforceable contract, we process data as necessary to perform our contracts with you (the Terms of Service, the "Terms"). We describe the contractual services for which this data processing is necessary in Our Services section of the Terms and in the additional informational resources accessible from our Terms. The core data uses necessary to provide our contractual services are:
- To provide, improve, customize, and support our Services as described in "Our Services";
- To promote safety and security;
- To transfer, transmit, store, or process your data outside the EEA, including to within the United States and other countries; and
- To communicate with you, for example, on Service-related issues.
The other legal bases we rely on in certain instances when processing your data are:
- For collecting and using information you allow us to receive through the device-based settings when you enable them (such as access to your GPS location, camera, or photos), so we can provide the features and services described when you enable the settings.
Our legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party, where not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms ("legitimate interests"):
For people under the age of majority (under 18, in most EU countries) who have a limited ability to enter into an enforceable contract only, we may be unable to process personal data on the grounds of contractual necessity. Nevertheless, when such a person uses our Services, it is in our legitimate interests:
- To provide, improve, customize, and support our Services as described in Our Services;
- To promote safety and security; and
- To communicate with you, for example, on Service-related issues.
The legitimate interests we rely on for this processing are:
- To create, provide, support, and maintain innovative Services and features that enable people under the age of majority to express themselves, communicate, discover, and engage with information and businesses relevant to their interests, build community, and utilize tools and features that promote their well-being;
- To secure our platform and network, verify accounts and activity, combat harmful conduct, detect and prevent spam and other bad experiences, and keep our Services and all of the Facebook Company Products free of harmful or inappropriate content, and investigate suspicious activity or violations of our terms or policies and to protect the safety of people under the age of majority, including to prevent exploitation or other harms to which such individuals may be particularly vulnerable.
For all people, including those under the age of majority:
- For providing measurement, analytics, and other business services where we are processing data as a controller. The legitimate interests we rely on for this processing are:
- To provide accurate and reliable reporting to businesses and other partners, to ensure accurate pricing and statistics on performance, and to demonstrate the value our partners realise using our Services; and
- In the interests of businesses and other partners to help them understand their customers and improve their businesses, validate our pricing models, and evaluate the effectiveness and distribution of their services and messages, and understand how people interact with them on our Services.
- For providing marketing communications to you. The legitimate interests we rely on for this processing are:
- To prevent and address fraud, unauthorised use of the Facebook Company Products, violations of our terms and policies, or other harmful or illegal activity; to protect ourselves (including our rights, property or Products), our users or others, including as part of investigations or regulatory inquiries; or to prevent death or imminent bodily harm.
- To secure systems and fight spam, threats, abuse, or infringement activities and promote safety and security across the Facebook Company Products.
We will consider several factors when assessing an objection including: our users' reasonable expectations; the benefits and risks to you, us, other users, or third parties; and other available means to achieve the same purpose that may be less invasive and do not require disproportional effort. Your objection will be upheld, and we will cease processing your information, unless the processing is based on compelling legitimate grounds or is needed for legal reasons.
If you are under the age of majority in your country and have a limited ability to enter an enforceable contract, we will take particular account of the fact that you are below the age of majority and adjust our assessment of our legitimate interests and the balancing of your interests and rights accordingly.
Compliance with a legal obligation:
Protection of your vital interests or those of another person:
- The vital interests we rely on for this processing include protection of your life or physical integrity or that of others, and we rely on it to combat harmful conduct and promote safety and security, for example, when we are investigating reports of harmful conduct or when someone needs help.
Tasks carried out in the public interest:
Your objection will be upheld, and we will cease processing your information, unless the processing is based on compelling legitimate grounds or is needed for legal reasons.
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Managing And Deleting Your Information
We store information until it is no longer necessary to provide our services, or until your account is deleted, whichever comes first. This is a case-by-case determination that depends on things like the nature of the information, why it is collected and processed, and relevant legal or operational retention needs.
If you would like to manage, change, limit, or delete your information, we allow you to do that through the following tools:
- Services Settings. You can change your Services settings to manage certain information available to other users. You can manage your contacts, groups, and broadcast lists, or use our block feature to manage the users with whom you communicate.
- Changing Your Mobile Phone Number, Profile Name And Picture, And About Information. You must change your mobile phone number using our in-app change number feature and transfer your account to your new mobile phone number. You can also change your profile name, profile picture, and about information at any time.
- Deleting Your WhatsApp Account. You may delete your WhatsApp account at any time (including if you want to revoke your consent to our use of your information) using our in-app delete my account feature. When you delete your WhatsApp account, your undelivered messages are deleted from our servers as well as any of your other information we no longer need to operate and provide our Services. Be mindful that if you only delete our Services from your device without using our in-app delete my account feature, your information may be stored with us for a longer period. Please remember that when you delete your account, it does not affect the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them.
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Law And Protection
We collect, use, preserve, and share your information if we have a good-faith belief that it is reasonably necessary to: (a) respond pursuant to applicable law or regulations, to legal process, or to government requests; (b) enforce our Terms and any other applicable terms and policies, including for investigations of potential violations; (c) detect, investigate, prevent, and address fraud and other illegal activity, security, or technical issues; or (d) protect the rights, property, and safety of our users, WhatsApp, the Facebook Companies, or others, including to prevent death or imminent bodily harm.
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Our Global Operations
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Updates To Our Policy
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If You Are In The European Region
The Data Protection Officer for WhatsApp Ireland can be contacted here.
WhatsApp Ireland Limited
4 Grand Canal Square
Grand Canal Harbour
You have the right to lodge a complaint with WhatsApp Ireland's lead supervisory authority, The Irish Data Protection Commissioner, or your local supervisory authority.
If You Are Outside The European Region
1601 Willow Road
Menlo Park, California 94025
United States of America
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