I. What is Personal Information, what does WhatsApp collect, and from what sources?
For this Notice, "Personal Information" means information that identifies, relates to, describes, is reasonably capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked with you, directly or indirectly. Personal Information does not include information that cannot be reasonably linked to you. When data is deidentified (as defined under U.S. Privacy Laws), we maintain it in deidentified form and do not attempt to reidentify the information. We do not “share” your Personal Information, as that term is defined in the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). We also don’t sell any of your Personal Information, and we never will.
To provide our Services, we must process some information about you, including the following Personal Information:
Information You Provide
Your Account Information. You must provide your mobile phone number and basic information (including a profile name of your choice) to create a WhatsApp account. If you don’t provide us with this information, you will not be able to create an account to use our Services. You can 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. Instead, your messages are stored on your device and not typically stored on our servers. Once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from our servers. The following scenarios describe circumstances where we may store your messages in the course of delivering them:
Undelivered messages. If a message cannot be delivered immediately (for example, if the recipient is offline), we keep it encrypted 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.
Media Forwarding. When a user forwards media within a message, we store that media temporarily in encrypted form on our servers to aid in more efficient delivery of additional forwards.
Your Connections. You can use the contact upload feature and provide us, if permitted by applicable law, with the phone numbers in your address book on a regular basis, including those of users of our Services and your other contacts. If any of your contacts aren’t yet using our Services, we’ll manage this information for you in a way that ensures those contacts cannot be identified by us. Learn more about our contact upload feature here. 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 and can provide a group profile picture or description. Learn how to use status on Android, iPhone, or KaiOS.
Status Information. You may provide us with your status if you choose to include one on your account.
Customer Support And Other Communications. When you contact us for customer support or otherwise communicate with us, you may provide us with information related to your use of our Services, including copies of your messages, any other information you deem helpful, and how to contact you (e.g., an email address). For example, you may send us an email with information relating to app performance or other issues.
Sensitive Personal Information. In limited circumstances we collect and use information that may be deemed to be sensitive personal information as defined in the U.S. Privacy Laws, including: a drivers’ license or state identification card if we need it to prove account ownership.
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 while using our Services (including when you interact with a business), 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, groups (including group name, group picture, group description), business 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 such as hardware model, operating system information, battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP), language and time zone, IP address, device operations information, and identifiers (including identifiers unique to Meta Company Products associated with the same device or account).
Location Information. We collect and use precise location information from your device with your permission when you choose to use location-related features, like when you decide to share your location with your contacts or view locations nearby or locations others have shared with you. There are certain settings relating to location-related information which you can find in your device settings or the in-app settings, such as location sharing. Even if you do not use our location-related features, we use IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (e.g., city and country). We also use your location information for diagnostics and troubleshooting purposes.
Other Sources of Information
Information Others Provide About You. We may receive information about you from other users of our Services, such as if they send you a message or call you. For example, when other users you know use our Services, they may provide your phone number, name, and other information (like information from their mobile address book) just as you may provide theirs. They may also send you messages, send messages to groups to which you belong, or call you. We require each of these users to have lawful rights to collect, use, and disclose your information before providing any information to us.
User Reports. Just as you can report other users, other users or third parties may also choose to report to us your interactions and your messages with them or others on our Services; for example, to report possible violations of our Terms or policies. When a report is made, we collect information on both the reporting user and reported user. To find out more about what happens when a user report is made, please see this article.
Businesses on WhatsApp. Businesses you interact with using our Services may provide us with information about their interactions with you. We require each of these businesses to act in accordance with applicable law when providing any information to us.
Third-Party Service Providers. We work with third-party service providers and other Meta Companies to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services. For example, we work with them to distribute our apps; provide our technical and physical infrastructure, delivery, and other systems; provide engineering support, cybersecurity support, and operational support; supply location, map, and places information;; 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; ensure safety, security, and integrity; and help with customer service. These companies may provide us with information about you in certain circumstances; for example, app stores may provide us with 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 Meta Company Products. If you use our Services with such third-party services or Meta 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 Meta Company Products, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services.
We use the Personal Information we have (subject to choices you make and applicable law) to operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services. Here's how:
Our Services. We use information we have to operate and provide our Services, including providing customer support; completing purchases or transactions; improving, fixing, and customizing our Services; and connecting our Services with Meta Company Products that you may use. We also use such information to understand how people use our Services; 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.
Communications About Our Services And The Meta Companies. We use information we have to communicate with you about our Services and let you know about our terms, policies, and other important updates. We may provide you marketing for our Services and those of the Meta Companies.
No Third-Party Banner Ads. We still do not allow third-party banner ads on our Services. If we ever introduce them, we will update this United States Regional Privacy Notice.
Business Interactions. We enable you and third parties, like businesses, to communicate and interact with each other using our Services, such as Catalogs for businesses on WhatsApp through which you can browse products and services and place orders. Businesses may send you transaction, appointment, 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 receive from a business 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.
For the limited categories of sensitive personal information that we collect, we will only use or disclose it either with your specific consent when required, or as otherwise permitted by law, including the CCPA.
You share your information as you use and communicate through our Services, and we disclose your information to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services.
Send Your Information To Those With Whom You Choose To Communicate. You share your information (including messages) as you use and communicate through our Services.
Information Associated With Your Account. Your phone number, profile name and photo, "about" information, last seen information, and message receipts are available to anyone who uses our Services, although you can configure your Services settings to manage certain information available to other users, including businesses, with whom you communicate.
Your Contacts And Others. Users, including businesses, with whom you communicate can 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 who you communicate with on our Services and certain information you disclose.
Businesses On WhatsApp. We offer specific services to businesses such as providing them with metrics regarding their use of our Services.
Third-Party Service Providers. We work with third-party service providers and other Meta Companies to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services. We work with these companies to support our Services, such as to provide technical infrastructure, delivery and other systems; market our Services; conduct surveys and research for us; protect the safety, security and integrity of users and others; and assist with customer service. When we disclose information with third-party service providers and other Meta 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 or others use third-party services or other Meta Company Products that are integrated with our Services, those third-party services may receive information about what you or others 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, such as your WhatsApp messages. If you interact with a third-party service or other Meta Company Products linked through our Services, such as when you use the in-app player to play content from a third-party platform, information about you, like your IP address and the fact that you are a WhatsApp user, may be provided to such third party or Meta Company Products. Please note that when you use third-party services or other Meta Company Products, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services and products.
Meta Companies. WhatsApp receives information from, and discloses information (see here) with, the other Meta Companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we disclose with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Meta Company Products.
Assignment, Change Of Control, And Transfer. In the event that we are involved in a merger, acquisition, restructuring, bankruptcy, or sale of all or some of our assets, we will disclose your information with the successor entities or new owners in connection with the transaction.
Under certain U.S. Privacy Laws, you may designate an authorized agent to make these requests on your behalf. If you use an authorized agent to submit a request, we may need to collect additional information, such as a government issued ID, to verify your identity before processing your request to protect your information. In most cases, we will facilitate your request through automated tools available through your WhatsApp account.
For information on the CCPA requests we have received, please see here.
If you have additional questions about this Notice, how to exercise your rights under the applicable U.S. Privacy Laws, and and as applicable, to appeal a consumer rights action, please contact us.