WhatsApp vs. Signal vs. Telegram vs. Facebook: What data do they have about you?


Over the past week or so we’ve seen a lot of chatter about people shifting their messaging platform from WhatsApp to Signal as a result of fallout from a change to its privacy policy. People were concerned that WhatsApp was going to start funneling data to its parent company Facebook.

There’s been subsequent clarification, but the damage has been done.

But what data do these apps have about you? That seems like a good place to start when comparing services.

Must read: iOS 14 pro tip: One setting change for better photos

And fortunately, Apple has made this easier for us by requiring that companies publish their privacy policies and come clean about what they do with your data.

So, let’s take a look at what information this gives us on WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. And for a bit of perspective, let’s also look at Facebook.

WhatsApp

Data linked to you – The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:

Developer’s Advertising or Marketing

Identifiers

Usage Data

Analytics

Purchases

Location

Contact Info

User Content

Identifiers

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Product Personalization

User Content

App Functionality

Purchases

Financial Info

Location

Contact Info

  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

Contacts

User Content

  • Customer Support
  • Other User Content

Identifiers

Usage Data

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Purposes

Contact Info

Identifiers

Usage Data

Signal

Data not linked to you: The following data, which may be collected but is not linked to your identity, may be used for the following purposes:

App Functionality

Contact Info

Telegram

Data linked to you – The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:

App Functionality

Contact Info

Contacts

Identifiers

Facebook

Data used to track you – The following data may be used to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies:

Other Data

Contact Info

  • Physical Address
  • Email Address
  • Name
  • Phone Number

Identifiers

Data linked to you – The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:

Third-Party Advertising

Purchases

Financial Info

Location

  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

  • Physical Address
  • Email Address
  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Other User Contact Info

Contacts

User Content

  • Photos or Videos
  • Gameplay Content
  • Other User Content

Search History

Browsing History

Identifiers

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

Developer’s Advertising or Marketing

Purchases

Financial Info

Location

  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

  • Physical Address
  • Email Address
  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Other User Contact Info

Contacts

User Content

  • Photos or Videos
  • Gameplay Content
  • Other User Content

Search History

Browsing History

Identifiers

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

Analytics

Health & Fitness

Purchases

Financial Info

  • Payment Info
  • Other Financial Info

Location

  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

  • Physical Address
  • Email Address
  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Other User Contact Info

Contacts

User Content

  • Photos or Videos
  • Audio Data
  • Gameplay Content
  • Customer Support
  • Other User Content

Search History

Browsing History

Identifiers

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Sensitive Info

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

Product Personalization

Purchases

Financial Info

Location

  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

  • Physical Address
  • Email Address
  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Other User Contact Info

Contacts

User Content

  • Photos or Videos
  • Gameplay Content
  • Other User Content

Search History

Browsing History

Identifiers

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Sensitive Info

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

App Functionality

Health & Fitness

Purchases

Financial Info

  • Payment Info
  • Credit Info
  • Other Financial Info

Location

  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

  • Physical Address
  • Email Address
  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Other User Contact Info

Contacts

User Content

  • Emails or Text Messages
  • Photos or Videos
  • Audio Data
  • Gameplay Content
  • Customer Support
  • Other User Content

Search History

Browsing History

Identifiers

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Sensitive Info

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

Other Purposes

Purchases

Financial Info

Location

  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

  • Physical Address
  • Email Address
  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Other User Contact Info

Contacts

User Content

  • Photos or Videos
  • Gameplay Content
  • Customer Support
  • Other User Content

Search History

Browsing History

Identifiers

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

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