The impending update to the WhatsApp privacy policy has caused significant concern and confusion, with many of its users seeking alternative messaging platforms. Initially scheduled for 08 February 2021, this new policy is due to come into effect on 15 May 2021.

This a brief guide to understanding the most noteworthy aspects of the new policy.


The new privacy policy seeks to enable the integration of certain Facebook utilities, including “optional business features”. The policy further seeks to be a transparent reference to the ways in which data will be collected and processed.

What data will be collected?

In accordance with the new policy, WhatsApp will collect “device and connection-specific information”. This is likely to include:

  • The hardware model
  • Operating system information
  • Battery level
  • Signal strength
  • App version
  • Browser information
  • Mobile network
  • Connection information (including phone number and mobile operator ISP)
  • Language and time zone
  • IP address
  • Device operations information
  • Identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account)

It is important to note that the end-to-end encryption (EE2E) mechanism utlised by WhatsApp remains in place. This ensures that the content of personal messages is only available to the parties to the communication. WhatsApp does not have the means to decrypt these messages.

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Written by Michael Clur – Candidate Attorney.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for legal advice on any specific matter. Any opinions expressed herein are subject to the law as at the time of writing and will change in accordance with any change in the law. We recommend that you contact HJW Attorneys at directly for advice applicable to your specific matter.