Forwards WhatsApp data to Facebook

Apps / software WhatsApp data: what can Facebook access?


In 2014, Facebook bought the WhatsApp instant messenger service. Since then, WhatsApp has shared a lot of information about its users with the parent company. Facebook uses the data for various purposes. At the beginning of 2021 WhatsApp announced a change in its terms and conditions that allow even more data exchange with Facebook. You can find out exactly what information WhatsApp passes on in this article.

Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram exchange data

Facebook collects huge amounts of data. These are sold or linked to one another for advertising purposes. This is how Facebook can create a pretty accurate picture of its users and other people. Since the instant messenger WhatsApp and the photo service Instagram have also been part of Facebook, the group has access to even more data because the companies exchange the data they have collected with one another.

WhatsApp users allow collection of data

If you want to use WhatsApp, you have to agree to the terms of use. According to the WhatsApp data protection guideline, you grant the service access to the following data, among other things, which can also be shared with Facebook:

  • All the contacts in your cell phone address book - this is very problematic, as your contacts actually have to agree to this for data protection reasons.
  • Account information such as your mobile phone number and your profile name, possibly also your profile picture, for example
  • Your messages (these are transmitted in encrypted form and are usually not saved by WhatsApp, but this is possible under certain circumstances)
  • Information about your groups
  • Your settings
  • Time, frequency and duration of your activities and your interactions with other users (chats, groups, calls, ...)
  • Data on the smartphone on which you are using the app (including model, operating system, browser, IP address and thus the approximate location)
  • which other Facebook products you use (Facebook, Instagram, ...)
  • Information about whether and how you communicate with companies via WhatsApp

WhatsApp also processes other data of its users. The Facebook companies also work together. They compare their collected user data with each other and exchange them. What data exactly WhatsApp shares with Facebook is not explained. If you do not agree, you have no choice but to not use WhatsApp.

Change of WhatsApp terms and conditions has been postponed

At the beginning of 2021, WhatsApp wanted to change its terms and conditions and caused a lot of displeasure. Many users who did not agree with the changes migrated - WhatsApp then postponed the introduction of the new data protection rules to May 2021. Not much would have changed for WhatsApp users in Europe anyway, as they are better protected by European data protection laws. So far, all other users have been able to forbid WhatsApp from giving their data to Facebook for advertising purposes. WhatsApp apparently wants to take this opportunity away with the change in terms and conditions, as reported by ZDF.