The messaging platform said it must collect some information to provide a reliable communication service.
Apple recently announced that apps distributed on its App Store must include details on how it uses data of its users.
In response to Apple’s announcement, Facebook-owned WhatsApp said it “already provides a way for people to download information associated with their account.”
The messaging platform said it must collect some information to provide a reliable communication service, while making assurance to restrict access to information it collects.
“While you may grant us access to your contacts to help deliver the messages you send, we do not share contact lists with anyone, including Facebook for its own use,” it said.
WhatsApp deployed end-to-end encryption in their app in 2016, which allows calls, messages, photos, videos, and voice notes to be shared only with the intended recipient and not with anyone else. Not even WhatsApp can read them, it said.
WhatsApp relies on users’ phone number received during their sign-in process, to deliver messages to their devices.
The phone numbers are also associated to users’ WhatsApp ID. WhatsApp is also aware of users’ IP address and country code from where their phone connects to WhatsApp.
WhatsApp can also access users’ contacts to verify these contact numbers on the system and make it easy for them to connect with their friends and family. However, they ask for users’ permission before this.
User content like “about” information, profile photos and group descriptions are used by WhatsApp to prevent abuse and ban those accounts violating laws.
Whatsapp also acknowledged that it shares information about users’ shopping activity with Facebook when they view and purchase products from Facebook Shops on WhatsApp. This also helps to customise users’ product browsing and purchasing experience.
Users can also provide their card or bank information if they need to send or receive payments via WhatsApp.
Usage data also helps WhatsApp to take action against accounts engaged in bulk messaging, and communicate to users about new product features and updates in the app.