A more widespread statement claims that your personal data from WhatsApp also ends up with the parent company Facebook. This is fundamentally not true. However, WhatsApp Business Chat is an exception. However, the problem can be solved.
What happens to your data on WhatsApp?
Millions of users are asking themselves this question. This is especially true since WhatsApp has been trying to enforce new privacy policies on its users since the beginning of 2021.
WhatsApp does not share personal data with Facebook
The fact is that WhatsApp does not pass on your personal data. The end-to-end encryption, which is considered unbreakable, ensures that no WhatsApp employee is able to read private chats.
This encryption applies to all private chats with your friends, acquaintances and family.
In addition, any changes to this setting would not take effect in Germany anyway, because the European General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO) protects all citizens in Germany and all other European countries by law.
WhatsApp Business Chat: The one exception where your data is forwarded
However, there is one exception. But this does not stem from your private WhatsApp use. Rather, it affects all conversations that you have with companies via WhatsApp Business Chat.
In these cases, it is possible that your personal data from WhatsApp will end up on Facebook. However, all corresponding chats in the app are clearly marked with notices so that the user is aware of the supposed danger.
What is the problem in the WhatsApp business chat?
Basically, not even your conversation itself poses a danger. Rather, the problem stems from the standalone WhatsApp Business app, which companies use to handle their professional chats.
Timoor Taufig, CEO and co-founder of messenger platform Userlike, tells BASIC thinking about this:
The WhatsApp Business App comes with automatic contact synchronization. As soon as it is installed, all contacts in the address book of the mobile device are recorded to check whether they are already WhatsApp users. In this way, the personal data of uninvolved parties reaches WhatsApp in an unencrypted, non-anonymized and non-pseudonymized form, and thus also Facebook’s servers in the US.
To get around this, the app would only have to be used on a device specifically designed for it. The address book may then only contain WhatsApp contacts, at the time of installation and afterwards. However, it is recommended anyway to let customers contact you proactively and only then respond to requests.
This means that whether your personal WhatsApp data ends up on Facebook depends on two factors: you and the companies you communicate with.
So if you decide to communicate with businesses on WhatsApp, you’re proactively taking a risk. You can eliminate that risk by, for example, using other channels to contact them.
At the same time, you should always exercise caution when giving out your phone number. Ultimately, you have no control over whether a company is careful with your data or not.