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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Whatsapp, here’s what it knows about you and your data

How to secure your data and how to understand what information Whatsapp holds in its database: here’s how to request a copy 

Whatsapp is at the center of a whirlwind of controversy over the arrival of a new privacy regulation . Initially scheduled for February and then postponed to mid-May due to the loss of millions of users, the new rules designed by the messaging app asked users to accept greater data sharing necessary for the correct functioning of Whatsapp Business , the variant a payment for companies that need a common interface with Facebook for customer management and organization. In short, it is basically not a radical change – Facebook was already drawing data from Whatsapp since 2016– but in the eyes of all it appeared as an either / or by the Menlo Park group: either you give consent to the new rules, or you are out. Whatsapp has clarified that from next May 15, those who do not accept the terms will no longer be able to read or send messages because they will be considered as an inactive user – and as such they will have an extension of another 120 days to accept the regulation otherwise the account will be deleted.

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For this reason, millions of users have been looking for an alternative such as Signal or Telegram , and are looking for a way to understand what data Whatsapp has . Thankfully, after the GDPR went into effect three years ago, the app is required to ensure users have full access to their personal information. So just open the application, select “Settings”, then “Account” and “Request account information” : in this way you can access the “Create a report of the information and settings of your WhatsApp account which you can access or that you can stream in another app ”to request the report . In this way, you send a request toWhatsapp which will have approximately 3 days to produce the material and guarantee the download directly from the phone.

As soon as everything is ready you will receive a notification that will ask you to download to download the data held by the app owned by Facebook to your device . It is good to specify that this type of report does not contain messages or contents exchanged in chats, but it will allow you to view some key information such as the list of your contacts, the photo and username associated with your profile, the groups you are part of, the date and time you registered and those in to which the terms of service have been accepted as well as the choice to activate or not the double blue check in the chats. And again the IP address through which the application was forwarded, the operating system of the smartphone you use together with other corollary information on the acceptance of the privacy rules.

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In practice it is a Zip file that gives you access to an HTML to open and consult with a common browser. Then, once downloaded, you can decide to permanently delete the report. At this point, you can carefully evaluate whether it is convenient for you to delete your Whatsapp account (and request the deletion of your data) or if the game is worth the candle and continue using the app.

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