“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 has since clarified that users will not be mandated to share their personal data, adding that these changes were implemented mainly for businesses.
“There will be no change in data sharing with Facebook for non-business chats and account information, and with regard to business messaging, we are not mandating users to share data,” the company said.
App data collection
Many users have become concerned about the personal data collected by WhatsApp and other applications following this change.
The extent of personal data collection each mobile app conducts has now been made clear thanks to Apple’s new Privacy Labels, which it introduced to its App Store last month.
This feature provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of personal data collection on each application’s store page – removing the need to scour privacy policies and terms of service documents for an overview of what data you are giving to the services you use.
Facebook and WhatsApp collect a significant amount of personal data from users, and this is especially apparent when compared with competing applications.
Telegram, which purports to offer greater privacy as well as end-to-end encryption, collects far less personal data.
Another privacy-focused messaging app that has been touted as a competitor to WhatsApp is Signal – which collects no personal information and runs on an open-source encryption framework, with your messages and data stored locally.
To demonstrate the differences in personal data collection between these different services, we have listed how these services broadly handle user data according to Apple’s Privacy labels in the infographic below.
Detailed information for each app’s privacy settings is available on the Apple App Store.
What data each app collects about you
A comparison of the data apps collect about you
|Data Linked to You Collected by Apps|
|Data linked to you||Telegram||Signal|
|Health and Fitness||Yes||–||–||–|