June 27, 2022
Lifehack: How to download everything WhatsApp knows about you
Techs & Telecoms

Lifehack: How to download everything WhatsApp knows about you

Lifehack How to download everything WhatsApp knows about you

WhatsApp – Privacy is a great thing and so it is not wrong to dwell on the enormous amount of data that some apps collect about you. With this tip you will discover what you reveal when you use WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is by far the largest chat service in the Netherlands: it seems as if almost everyone in our country uses the service. In 2014, the chat service was acquired for 16 billion dollars (almost 15.4 billion euros) by Facebook, now known as Meta. It was promised that WhatsApp would continue to operate independently.

Anyway, a lot of information about you is stored by owner Meta. If you want to know what they keep, you can submit a request to receive the entire file.

In order to comply with the well-known General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a company must give you access to your personal data and the way in which it is processed.

No chats in the data

First this: there is no chat history between these data. The conversations you have are well protected with an end-to-end encryption, so that only you and the recipient can see the messages. WhatsApp cannot read along with your conversations.

That’s good news for your privacy, but you can’t get a log of all your conversations from WhatsApp. Incidentally, there is a possibility in the app to export your entire chat history.

What information can you request?

Your messages are therefore safe, but Meta does have insight into a lot of metadata, or information about your data. This not only concerns, for example, your name, telephone number and how long you have been using the app, but also your current and previous IP addresses, the type of phone you use and the places where you have logged in with WhatsApp Web.

In addition, you get a list of all your contacts, although only the phone numbers and not the names are collected. You’ll also see all the group chats you’ve ever been in, including the corresponding descriptions and images of these groups.

In addition, WhatsApp keeps track of all your privacy settings, plus a list of phone numbers you’ve blocked.

How to request it

Requesting your data is done via the app of WhatsApp itself. Go to the settings and select ‘Account’ and then ‘Request account info’. Here you will find the option ‘Request report’.

Meta then needs about three days to prepare your report. If it’s there, you’ll get a notification on your phone. In the same place in the settings, the option ‘Download report’ will appear.

The data is packaged in a zip file, which is probably not that convenient to open on your smartphone. The best solution is to email the file to yourself and then open it on a PC or laptop.

The report is not shockingly long, but it does contain all the stored metadata about you. Of course, it’s always good to be aware of the information you share with companies.

Lifehack: How to download everything WhatsApp knows about you

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