WhatsApp has been around for a long time, and has established itself over the past decade as the first choice messenger platform for billions people across the world.
Now with plenty of unsavory rumors about the company and its parent company’s shady history of questionable data handling, things might be about to change, especially with February 8 drawing near.
WhatsApp’s feature set is known to most, and it has all the necessities done right.
There is the ability to send over files, media, contacts, and location details, as well as make voice and video calls as its basic capabilities
The size limit for sending over video, images, or voice recordings is 16MB, while the transfer size for documents and files is capped at 100MB.
There is also a “disappearing messages” function that allows sent messages to vanish after an amount of time has passed, making it particularly useful for sending across sensitive information.
WhatsApp provides support for group chats up to 256 participants with the ability to perform voice and video calls for up to eight people for larger group
There is also the Status feature that allows users to post updates similar to Instagram’s Stories function, with images and videos up to 30 seconds allowed.
WhatsApp supports access from both web browser and dedicated clients. The catch is that users can only be signed in to one device at any time, and that their WhatsApp smartphone must be connected to the internet for WhatsApp to function. There also isn’t a dedicated app for the iPad.
WhatsApp supports backups on smartphones as well as online backups via iCloud or Google Drive for free. It has various free emoji’s support , Wallpapers .
In terms of security, WhatsApp uses a considerably secure End-to-End (E2E) encryption method that basically means messages are encrypted at the point of departure and unencrypted only once it reaches the receiver. This ensures that no external party – not even WhatsApp – can intercept and view a message in between a sender and receiver.
The E2E encryption protocol used by WhatsApp is open-sourced and developed by the team that behind Signal App . This particular protocol has been widely analyzed by experts, with many in agreement with its rating as one of the best on the planet.
But while messages themselves are E2E-encrypted, WhatsApp does not encrypt backups on the device or the cloud, and neither does it encrypt metadata. meaning that even if no one can intercept a message between two parties, information such as where and when a message was sent can still be retrieved externally.
WhatsApp also supports the option to lock your messages with fingerprints as well as two-factor authentication (2FA).
User Data Collected:
In terms of data collected from users, WhatsApp’s list is by far the most extensive.
1. Device information
2. Advertising data
3. Purchase history
4. Coarse location
5. Phone number
6. Email address
8. Performance and diagnostic data
9. Various other user-related content