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

Some apps collect and hold a lot of data about you, some the bare minimum.

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.

Also: Best VPNs  Best security keys

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

  • Device ID

Usage Data

  • Advertising Data

Analytics

Purchases

  • Purchase History

Location

  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

  • Phone Number

User Content

  • Other User Content

Identifiers

  • User ID
  • Device ID

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Product Personalization

User Content

  • Other User Content

App Functionality

Purchases

  • Purchase History

Financial Info

  • Payment Info

Location

  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

Contacts

  • Contacts

User Content

  • Customer Support
  • Other User Content

Identifiers

  • User ID
  • Device ID

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Purposes

Contact Info

  • Phone Number

Identifiers

  • User ID
  • Device ID

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction

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

  • Phone Number

Telegram

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

App Functionality

Contact Info

  • Name
  • Phone Number

Contacts

  • Contacts

Identifiers

  • User ID

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

  • Other Data Types

Contact Info

  • Physical Address
  • Email Address
  • Name
  • Phone Number

Identifiers

  • User ID
  • Device ID

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

Third-Party Advertising

Purchases

  • Purchase History

Financial Info

  • Other Financial Info

Location

  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

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

Contacts

  • Contacts

User Content

  • Photos or Videos
  • Gameplay Content
  • Other User Content

Search History

  • Search History

Browsing History

  • Browsing History

Identifiers

  • User ID
  • Device ID

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

  • Other Data Types

Developer's Advertising or Marketing

Purchases

  • Purchase History

Financial Info

  • Other Financial Info

Location

  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

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

Contacts

  • Contacts

User Content

  • Photos or Videos
  • Gameplay Content
  • Other User Content

Search History

  • Search History

Browsing History

  • Browsing History

Identifiers

  • User ID
  • Device ID

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

  • Other Data Types

Analytics

Health & Fitness

  • Health
  • Fitness

Purchases

  • Purchase History

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

  • Contacts

User Content

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

Search History

  • Search History

Browsing History

  • Browsing History

Identifiers

  • User ID
  • Device ID

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Sensitive Info

  • Sensitive Info

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

  • Other Data Types

Product Personalization

Purchases

  • Purchase History

Financial Info

  • Other Financial Info

Location

  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

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

Contacts

  • Contacts

User Content

  • Photos or Videos
  • Gameplay Content
  • Other User Content

Search History

  • Search History

Browsing History

  • Browsing History

Identifiers

  • User ID
  • Device ID

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Sensitive Info

  • Sensitive Info

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

  • Other Data Types

App Functionality

Health & Fitness

  • Health
  • Fitness

Purchases

  • Purchase History

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

  • Contacts

User Content

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

Search History

  • Search History

Browsing History

  • Browsing History

Identifiers

  • User ID
  • Device ID

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Sensitive Info

  • Sensitive Info

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

  • Other Data Types

Other Purposes

Purchases

  • Purchase History

Financial Info

  • Other Financial Info

Location

  • Precise Location
  • Coarse Location

Contact Info

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

Contacts

  • Contacts

User Content

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

Search History

  • Search History

Browsing History

  • Browsing History

Identifiers

  • User ID
  • Device ID

Usage Data

  • Product Interaction
  • Advertising Data
  • Other Usage Data

Diagnostics

  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data

Other Data

  • Other Data Types