In late March 2018, reports emerged that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica illegally stashed private user information from Facebook. The European Union known for strict privacy guidelines, pressed the former on how many EU citizens were affected, how it intends to inform the users and the also chalk out improvements in protecting user information. It even ordered Facebook's CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to personally appear before the jury to address their concerns.
While Zuckerberg is currently in European Parliament headquarters in Brussels answering the parliamentarians, Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp has introduced the new 'Request Account Info' option to iOS version. This is in compliance with EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act to safeguard user data in social media websites and mobile apps.
The new feature coming in the latest WhatsApp iOS app v2.18.60 and once updated to the latest version, users can request user data stored by the company on its server. If required he or she can delete it and start afresh and uninstall the app without having to worry that your private information will be misused. It is believed that WhatsApp stores photos and group names, but not the actual messages between two individuals or in the group chat.
How to get started with 'Request Account Info':
- Step 1: Go to Settings >> Account >> Request Account Info>> Request Report
- Step 2: Once the request is placed, WhatsApp will take 3 days to accumulate the relevant data and notifying the user about the availability of the data to download.
He or she can see what information the company has stored and after reviewing it, they can either download or delete it and start afresh. [Note: This feature was made available first for Android version last month]
In a related development, Facebook is planning to bring native 'Send in WhatsApp' feature for the mobile app. Currently, there are only five options—Share Now (Public), Write Post, Send in Messenger, Share to a Page, and Copy Link.
It is believed that Facebook is testing this feature. Going by their earlier release pattern, it is estimated to take about a month to bring the feature to the mobile app.