What personal details of users are instant messaging apps collecting?

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The new privacy policy of WhatsApp has troubled people. But how much data does it collect compared to other messaging apps like Signal, Telegram and Facebook Messenger? If you are also thinking the same, then let us tell you that the new policy shows that WhatsApp collects a lot of your data. Apps owned by Facebook (Messenger and WhatsApp) collect your data and location information unlike other apps. Whereas, compared to these, Signal feels like the most private and secure messaging app and as per the privacy details highlighted on the App Store, this app does not collect any user data. Perhaps this could be the reason why Facebook had criticized Apple’s move to show the privacy label some time ago.

Information available on the App Store suggests that when it comes to collecting user data, Facebook Messenger collects the most data after WhatsApp. User data collected by both the apps includes users’ purchase history, financial information, location information, contacts, phone numbers, email IDs and usage data, etc. Let us tell you that WhatsApp is currently being used by more than 40 crore people in India.

Below we are giving you information about user data collected by WhatsApp, Signal, Facebook Messenger and Telegram.

WhatsApp

  • Device ID
  • User ID
  • Advertising Data
  • Purchase History
  • Coarse Location
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Contacts
  • Product Interaction
  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data
  • Payment Information
  • Customer Support
  • Product Interaction
  • Other User Content

Facebook Messenger

  • Purchase History
  • Other Financial Information
  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location
  • Physical Address
  • Email Address
  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Other User Contact Info
  • Contacts
  • Photos or Videos
  • Game Content
  • Other User Content
  • Search History
  • Browsing History
  • User ID
  • Device ID
  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data
  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data
  • Other Data Types
  • Browsing History
  • Health
  • fitness
  • Payment Information
  • Photos or Videos
  • audio data
  • Game Content
  • Customer Support
  • Other User Content
  • Search History
  • Sensitive Information
  • iMessage
  • Email address
  • Phone number search history
  • Device ID

Telegram

  • Contact Info
  • Contacts
  • User ID

signal

  • no data. (The Signal app only stores your phone number and the app does not link this phone number to your identity)

Let us tell you that the developers themselves collect the information about the apps on the Apple App Store. But still, other companies including Facebook keep many such information in their long privacy policies, which are not read by a large number of their users.

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