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Last modified: December 19, 2019
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.
WhatsApp receives or collects information when we operate and provide our Services, including when you install, access, or use our Services.
Information You Provide
Your Account Information. You provide your mobile phone number to create a WhatsApp account. You provide us 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 confirm you are authorized to provide us such numbers. You may also add other information to your account, such as a profile name, profile picture, and status message.
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.
Your Connections. To help you organize how you communicate with others, we may create a favorites list of your contacts for you, and you can create, join, or get added to groups and broadcast lists, and such groups and lists get associated with your account information.
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 service-related, diagnostic, and performance information. This includes information about your activity (such as how you use our Services, how you interact with others using our Services, and the like), log files, and diagnostic, crash, website, and performance logs and reports.
Transactional Information. If you pay for our Services, we may receive information and confirmations, such as payment receipts, including from app stores or other third parties processing your payment.
Device and Connection Information. 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, such as 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.
Status Information. We collect information about your online and status message changes on our Services, such as whether you are online (your “online status”), when you last used our Services (your “last seen status”), and when you last updated your status message.
Information Others Provide About You. We receive information other people provide us, which may include information about you. For example, when other users you know use our Services, they may provide your phone number from their mobile address book (just as you may provide theirs), or they may send you a message, send messages to groups to which you belong, or call you.
Third-Party Providers. We work with third-party providers 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 map and places information, process payments, help us understand how people use our Services, and market our Services. These providers 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. If you use our Services with such third-party services, 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, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services.
How We Use Information
We use all the information we have to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services.
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 Family of Companies. We 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 family of companies, of which we are now a part.
No Third-Party Banner Ads. We 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.
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.
Account Information. Your phone number, profile name and photo, online status and status message, last seen status, 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.
Your Contacts and Others. Users 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.
Third-Party Providers. 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.
Third-Party Services. When you use third-party services 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 (such as iCloud or Google Drive), they will receive information about what 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, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services.
We joined the Facebook family of companies in 2014. As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, this family of 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, securing systems, and fighting spam, abuse, or infringement activities. Facebook and the other companies in the Facebook family also may use information from us to improve your experiences within their services such as making product suggestions (for example, of friends or connections, or of interesting content) and showing relevant offers and ads. 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 the Facebook family of companies and their privacy practices by reviewing their privacy policies.
Assignment, Change Of Control, And Transfer
Managing Your Information
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 Status Message. 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 status message 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.
Law And Protection
We may 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 family of companies, or others.
Our Global Operations
Updates To Our Policy
California Consumer Privacy Act
California residents may learn more about their rights, including how to exercise their rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, by clicking here.