In its latest effort at keeping transparency intact and allowing users control over their data, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has announced a new feature. This will essentially allow you to see and download your account information and settings. The new Request Account Info is being rolled out to global users on the newest version of the app.
The announcement arrives ahead of the new EU data privacy rules coming into force starting May 25, 2018. The new regulation is aimed at giving users more control on their personal data. It aims to simplify the regulation process for international businesses as well.
How to Request Account Info
As part of the new feature, WhatsApp users will be able to request and export a report of their account information, including the profile photo and group names. It is to be understood that the feature is not meant to retrieve or export chat history. Here’s how you can request and download your WhatsApp account information.
Ensure you are running the latest version of WhatsApp. The company has said that the feature will be rolled out globally, however, if you haven’t received the update, you can wait for a few days till you get the feature enabled. In order to request a report on your WhatsApp account, simply go to WhatsApp Settings -> Account -> Request account info. Now, tap on Request report. Once your request is sent, WhatsApp will provide you with the report in approximately three days.
You can refer to the Ready by date when waiting for your report. In its blog, WhatsApp explains that certain account activities may cancel your request. For instance, if you delete your account when the report request is pending, the request will eventually be canceled. Similarly, if you change your number or device or re-register your account, the report will be canceled. You can request for another report then.
How to download account info
Once the report is ready, you will receive a WhatsApp notification for downloading it. Interestingly, WhatsApp will show you the time you have to download the report before it is deleted from its servers. This time is approximately a few weeks before deletion.
In order to download the report, go to WhatsApp Settings -> Account -> Request account info -> Download report. The ZIP file will be downloaded to your phone. It will include an HTML file and a JSON file that could be ported to another app. You can then choose to export report.
Watch: WhatsApp features in 2017
It is to be noted that the report will not be viewable within WhatsApp, but you can choose any of the external apps to export and view. Once you download the report on your phone, you can choose to permanently delete the downloaded copy from your phone. However, this will not delete any of your account’s data.