WhatsApp had claimed that users' data privacy protection and security are coded into their DNA. However, after the latest amendment, it has left a question of whether the DNA line would be compromised. Similar questions have also led many WhatsApp users to withdraw from the app and move to other platforms such as Signal and Telegram. There have also been allegations against the company for sharing user data with tech giants that happen to be affiliates of Facebook to enhance their commercial ad strategies.
The tech giant further stated that personal messages will continue to remain end-to-end encrypted. End-to-end encryption is a security mechanism for communication that only allows users of a specific conversation to read messages. The messages are secured with locks, and only the recipient has the special key to unlock and read the messages. In addition to it, the keys are developed to change with every message sent.
But in reality, WhatsApp does fetch ample amounts of data from its users by default. For instance, during installation, WhatsApp gathers device and connection-specific information such as the hardware model, operating system, battery level, signal strength, mobile network, IP address, etc. Then, it collects account specific information such as contact numbers, profile pictures, last seen, calls, statuses, and 'about' details. If a user uses the payment option, essential information during a transaction such as payment account, transaction amount, payment method, and shipping details are also collected. In a nutshell, there clearly seems to be an ulterior motive behind the data they gather.