Updated: January 18, 2021 5:41:35 pm
A user can simply go to Settings followed by Account and then tap on the ‘Request Account Info’ option. Here you can tap the option for a report, which is generated in three days. WhatsApp says the report contains account information and settings, and the report can be ported to another app as well. The report does not contain messages. That’s because WhatsApp does not keep a backup of your messages.
We answer all your questions on what data the report contains based on our experience.
First, how big is the WhatsApp data report, what’s the format?
Once, the report is ready and you download it, you get it in the form of a ZIP file. The ZIP file can be saved to downloads on your Android or iOS device. Remember you cannot view the downloaded report within WhatsApp. In the share tray, you can always choose to share with other apps as well. For instance you can attach it to your email and then open the report on your laptop or desktop.
When I downloaded my report, it was around 124KB in size. This is tiny compared to how data reports look if you were to download them from Google or Facebook.
What does the ZIP folder from WhatsApp contain?
What data does WhatsApp collect?
It contains your account information such as Phone number, the name attached to the account, the profile photo you currently have for WhatsApp, the device you are using, the time when you have been online, all your contacts, all group names of which you are a part of, the device type, the IP address, device build number, device manufacturer, details of the web/desktop version and the platform which is used for WhatsApp Web, your Status. It also has the exact time when you set the current profile photo and the current status message.
The list includes all contacts with whom you would have chatted on WhatsApp, and only the mobile phone numbers are mentioned. It also has your settings for the app, including the privacy settings for Last Seen, Profile Photo, About Privacy and Status Privacy. It also includes a list of the all numbers you have blocked and whether you have Read Receipts turned on.
What about data on calls logs? Does WhatsApp keep a track of who I call and at what time?
No, WhatsApp has already clarified it does not keep a tab of call logs. There was no call log data in either of the files. In fact, if it was keeping a track of this information, the files would have been considerably heavier, considering how often I rely on the feature.
What about contact information?
The relevant paragraph reads, “You can use the contact upload feature and provide us, if permitted by applicable laws, 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.”
In a separate page, WhatsApp adds further, “We don’t store these phone numbers and only process them momentarily to create cryptographic hash values which enable us to more efficiently connect you with these contacts if they join WhatsApp.”
What information does WhatsApp have about my groups?
My data report lists out all the groups I am currently a part of, and any groups which I was part of earlier. It is quite a long list, and for some users in India, it might be even longer. There is no other detail about the groups such as group members, group description, group icon photo or anything else.
Why does WhatsApp keep my profile photo and status ? Is this being shared with Facebook?
What about when I’m online on WhatsApp?
The data report includes tabs for Connection State, Online Since, Offline Since, Inactive Since, Previous IP connection, Current IP connection. In my report it only mentioned that I was active, and that the app was in foreground and the time for online was mentioned as well, which is a date in 2021. The slots for Offline Since, In Active Since, Previous IP Connection were blank. My current IP connection was displayed in the data collected.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.