Using WhatsApp is Not Going to Reveal Your Private Messages
Addressing the issue in a tweet, WhatsApp shared an infographic that showcased everything that remains protected. Here is the tweet.
We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption. pic.twitter.com/6qDnzQ98MP
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 12, 2021
However, WhatsApp is clearly aware of how simple statements are not going to be enough. Therefore, the company went deeper and explained the whole situation on their official FAQ page.
We can’t see your private messages or hear your calls, and neither can Facebook: Neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read your messages or hear your calls with your friends, family, and co-workers on WhatsApp. Whatever you share, it stays between you. That’s because your personal messages are protected by end-to-end encryption. We will never weaken this security and we clearly label each chat so you know our commitment.
We don’t keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling: While traditionally mobile carriers and operators store this information, we believe that keeping these records for two billion users would be both a privacy and security risk and we don’t do it.
We can’t see your shared location and neither can Facebook: When you share your location with someone on WhatsApp, your location is protected by end-to-end encryption, which means no one can see your location except the people you share it with.
We don’t share your contacts with Facebook: When you give us permission, we access only the phone numbers from your address book to make messaging fast and reliable, and we don’t share your contacts lists with the other apps Facebook offers.
Groups remain private: We use group membership to deliver messages and to protect our service from spam and abuse. We don’t share this data with Facebook for ads purposes. Again, these private chats are end-to-end encrypted so we can’t see their content.
You can set your messages to disappear: For additional privacy, you can choose to set your messages to disappear from chats after you send them.
You can download your data: You can download and see what information we have on your account right from within the app.
Hopefully, this should clarify the situation for a lot of people as I have seen a lot of people shifting over to Telegram and Signal or other alternatives. I have to be honest here; even I was taken aback when WhatsApp introduced these policy changes. Still, considering how nothing on the internet is hidden from other services, it was easier to accept that WhatsApp is really not at fault.