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WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, FB Messenger, iMessage: Here’s exactly what data each messaging app collects

WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, FB Messenger, iMessage: Here’s exactly what data each messaging app collects so you can take a look and make an informed choice, if you want. 

Just a glance at this list and you’ll know that Signal is clearly the most secure messaging app and both of Facebook’s products are as data greedy as it gets.
Just a glance at this list and you’ll know that Signal is clearly the most secure messaging app and both of Facebook’s products are as data greedy as it gets. (Pixabay)

Thanks to Apple’s new privacy labels, we now know exactly what user data each app collects and a basic tally shows that WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger collects the most user data among all other popular messaging apps including Signal, Telegram and iMessage.

Apple’s new privacy labels have not only made all app developers reveal what data the app collects, they are also required to explain how this data is being used. This has been done to ensure that you as a user are fully aware of exactly what personal data you are giving an app access to without getting lost in lengthy privacy policies.

Also Read: Apple’s new privacy labels on the App Store is now live: Here’s everything you need to know

Taking on messaging apps, the ones that are the most popular, we’ve looked into which messaging app collects what data so as you can take a look and decide if it is worth using that app or should you prefer shifting to another, less intrusive one.

Straight off the bat, the two Facebook products - WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger collect the most data as compared to Apple’s own iMessage and considerably more private Signal and Telegram. Take a look:

WhatsApp

Data collected by app: Phone Number, Email Address, Contacts, Coarse Location, Device ID, User ID, Advertising Data, Purchase History, Product Interaction, Payment Info, Crash Data, Performance Data, Other Diagnostic Data, Customer Support, Product Interaction, Other User, Content, Metadata.

Facebook Messenger

Data collected by app: Precise Location, Coarse Location, Physical Address, Email Address, Name, Phone Number, Other User Contact Info, Contacts, Photos or Videos, Gameplay Content, Other User Content, Search History, Browsing History, User ID, Device ID, Third-Party Advertising, Purchase History, Financial Info, Product Interaction, Advertising Data, Other Usage Data, Crash Data, Performance Data, Other Diagnostic Data, Other Data Types, Developer’s, Advertising or Marketing, Health, Fitness, Payment Info, Sensitive Info, Product Personalization, Credit Info, Other Financial Info, Emails or Text Messages.

iMessage

Data collected by app: Email Address, Phone Number, Search History, Device ID.

Signal

Data collected by app: None.

You need to sign up on Signal using your mobile phone number for registration, but the app does not link your phone number to your identity. If you check the app on the App Store it states that there is no data linked to you.

Telegram

Data collected by app: Name, Phone Number, Contacts, User ID

Just a glance at this list and you’ll know that Signal is clearly the most secure messaging app and both of Facebook’s products are as data greedy as it gets. No wonder Facebook got that miffed with Apple and its privacy labels and the user tracking restrictions!

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