Terms of Service
1. Your Acceptance
2. WhatsApp Service
These Terms of Service apply to all users of the WhatsApp Service. Information provided by our users through the WhatsApp Service may contain links to third party websites that are not owned or controlled by WhatsApp. WhatsApp has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party websites. In addition, WhatsApp will not and cannot censor or edit the content of any third-party site. By using the Service, you expressly acknowledge and agree that WhatsApp shall not be responsible for any damages, claims or other liability arising from or related to your use of any third-party website.
3. WhatsApp Access
4. Intellectual Property Rights
The design of the WhatsApp Service along with WhatsApp created text, scripts, graphics, interactive features and the like, except Status Submissions (as defined below), and the trademarks, service marks and logos contained therein (“Marks”), are owned by or licensed to WhatsApp, subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights under United States and foreign laws and international conventions. The Service is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. WhatsApp reserves all rights not expressly granted in and to the Service. You agree to not engage in the use, copying, or distribution of any of the Service other than expressly permitted herein, including any use, copying, or distribution of Status Submissions of third parties obtained through the Service for any commercial purposes.
5. User Status Submissions
A. The WhatsApp Service allows WhatsApp users to submit status text, profile photos and other communications submitted by you, as well as the automatic submission of your “last seen” status (collectively, the “Status Submissions”). These Status Submissions may be hosted, shared, and/or published as part of the WhatsApp Service, and may be visible to other users of the Service who have your mobile phone number in their mobile phone and which you have not expressly blocked. For clarity, direct messages, location data and photos or files that you send directly to other WhatsApp users will only be viewable by those WhatsApp user(s) or group(s) you directly send such information; but Status Submissions may be globally viewed by WhatsApp users that have your mobile phone number on their smartphone, unless the user is blocked by you. Currently, we have no method of providing different levels of visibility of your Status Submissions among users that have your mobile phone number – you acknowledge and agree that any Status Submissions may be globally viewed by users that have your mobile phone number, so don’t submit or post status messages or profile photos that you don’t want to be seen globally. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t want the whole world to know something or see something, don’t submit it as a Status Submission to the Service. The submission of your ‘last seen’ status is done on an automatic basis. As clarified in the following section, you retain your ownership rights in your Status Submissions. You understand that whether or not such Status Submissions are published, WhatsApp does not guarantee any confidentiality with respect to any submissions. B. You shall be solely responsible for your own Status Submissions and the consequences of posting or publishing them. Because WhatsApp is only acting as a repository of data, user submitted statuses do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of WhatsApp, and WhatsApp makes no guarantees as to the validity, accuracy or legal status of any status. In connection with Status Submissions, you affirm, represent, and/or warrant that: (i) you own or have the necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions to use and authorize WhatsApp to use all patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights in and to any and all Status Submissions to enable inclusion and use of the Status Submissions in the manner contemplated by the Service and these Terms of Service; and (ii) you have the written consent, release, and/or permission of each and every identifiable individual person in the Status Submission to use the name or likeness of each and every such identifiable individual person to enable inclusion and use of the Status Submissions in the manner contemplated by the Service and these Terms of Service. To be clear: you retain all of your ownership rights in your Status Submissions, but you have to have the rights in the first place. However, by submitting the Status Submissions to WhatsApp, you hereby grant WhatsApp a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Status Submissions in connection with the WhatsApp Service and WhatsApp’s (and its successor’s) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the WhatsApp Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each subscriber to your status on the WhatsApp Service a non-exclusive license to access your Status Submissions through the Service. The foregoing license granted by you terminates once you remove or delete a Status Submission from the WhatsApp Service. C. In connection with Status Submissions, you further agree that you will not: (i) submit material that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret or otherwise subject to third party proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner to post the material and to grant WhatsApp all of the license rights granted herein; (ii) publish falsehoods or misrepresentations that could damage WhatsApp or any third party; (iii) submit material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate; (iv) post advertisements or solicitations of business; (v) impersonate another person; (vi) send or store material containing software viruses, worms, Trojan horses or other harmful computer code, files, scripts, agents or programs; (vii) interfere with or disrupt the integrity or performance of the Service or the data contained therein; or (viii) attempt to gain unauthorized access to the Service or its related systems or networks. D. Adult content must be identified as such. WhatsApp does not endorse any Status Submission or any opinion, recommendation, or advice expressed therein, and WhatsApp expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with Status Submissions. WhatsApp does not permit copyright infringing activities and infringement of intellectual property rights via its Service, and WhatsApp will remove all content and Status Submissions if properly notified that such content or Status Submission infringes on another’s intellectual property rights. To file a copyright infringement notification, please send a written communication that includes substantially the following (see Section 512(c)(3) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act): (i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed; (ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works; (iii) Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material, including the mobile phone number of the WhatsApp user allegedly infringing the copyrighted work; (iv) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted; (v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and (vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. Such takedown notices may be emailed to support at whatsapp.com. WhatsApp reserves the right to remove content and Status Submissions without prior notice. WhatsApp may also terminate a user’s access to the Service, if they are determined to be a repeat infringer, or for any or no reason, including being annoying. A repeat infringer is a User who has been notified of infringing activity more than once and/or has had a Status Submission removed from the Service more than twice. An annoying person is anyone who is (capriciously or not) determined to be annoying by authorized WhatsApp employees, agents, subagents, superagents or superheros. WhatsApp also reserves the right to decide whether content or a Status Submission is appropriate and complies with these Terms of Service for violations other than copyright infringement and violations of intellectual property law, such as, but not limited to excessive length or limited interest. WhatsApp may remove such Status Submissions and/or terminate a User’s access for uploading such material in violation of these Terms of Service at any time, without prior notice and at its sole discretion. E. You understand that when using the WhatsApp Service you will be exposed to Status Submissions from a variety of sources, and that WhatsApp is not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, safety, or intellectual property rights of or relating to such Status Submissions, and that such Status Submissions are not the responsibility of WhatsApp. You further understand and acknowledge that you may be exposed to Status Submissions that are inaccurate, offensive, indecent, or objectionable, and you agree to waive, and hereby do waive, any legal or equitable rights or remedies you have or may have against WhatsApp with respect thereto, and agree to indemnify and hold WhatsApp, its officers, directors, employees, agents, affiliates, and/or licensors, harmless to the fullest extent allowed by law regarding all matters related to your use of the WhatsApp Service. F. WhatsApp permits you to link to materials on the Service for personal purposes only. WhatsApp reserves the right to discontinue any aspect of the WhatsApp Service at any time.
6. Warranty Disclaimer
YOU AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THE WHATSAPP SERVICE SHALL BE AT YOUR SOLE RISK. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, WHATSAPP, ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN CONNECTION WITH THE SERVICE AND YOUR USE THEREOF. WHATSAPP MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THIS SERVICE’S CONTENT AND ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY (I) ERRORS, MISTAKES, OR INACCURACIES OF CONTENT, (II) PERSONAL INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, OF ANY NATURE WHATSOEVER, RESULTING FROM YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF OUR SERVICE, (III) ANY UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR USE OF OUR SERVERS AND/OR ANY AND ALL PERSONAL INFORMATION AND/OR FINANCIAL INFORMATION STORED THEREIN, (IV) ANY INTERRUPTION OR CESSATION OF TRANSMISSION TO OR FROM OUR SERVICE, (IV) ANY BUGS, VIRUSES, TROJAN HORSES, OR THE LIKE WHICH MAY BE TRANSMITTED TO OR THROUGH OUR SERVICE THROUGH THE ACTIONS OF ANY THIRD PARTY, AND/OR (V) ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONSIN ANY CONTENT OR FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF ANY CONTENT POSTED, EMAILED, TRANSMITTED, OR OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE VIA THE WHATSAPP SERVICE. WHATSAPP DOES NOT WARRANT, ENDORSE, GUARANTEE, OR ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY PRODUCT OR SERVICE ADVERTISED OR OFFERED BY A THIRD PARTY THROUGH THE WHATSAPP SERVICE OR ANY HYPERLINKED WEBSITE OR FEATURED IN ANY USER STATUS SUBMISSION OR OTHER ADVERTISING, AND WHATSAPP WILL NOT BE A PARTY TO OR IN ANY WAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MONITORING ANY TRANSACTION BETWEEN YOU AND THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES. AS WITH THE PURCHASE OF A PRODUCT OR SERVICE THROUGH ANY MEDIUM OR IN ANY ENVIRONMENT, YOU SHOULD USE YOUR BEST JUDGMENT AND EXERCISE CAUTION WHERE APPROPRIATE. AND AGAIN, USE THIS JUST FOR FUN.
7. Limitation of Liability
You agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless WhatsApp, its parent corporation, officers, directors, employees and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees) arising from: (i) your use of and access to the WhatsApp Service; (ii) your violation of any term of these Terms of Service; (iii) your violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, property, or privacy right; or (iv) any claim that one of your Status Submissions caused damage to a third party. This defense and indemnification obligation will survive these Terms of Service and your use of the WhatsApp Service. We don’t support or encourage illegal consumption of alcohol or tobacco, so there.
9. Ability to Accept Terms of Service
You affirm that you are either more than 16 years of age, or an emancipated minor, or possess legal parental or guardian consent, and are fully able and competent to enter into the terms, conditions, obligations, affirmations, representations, and warranties set forth in these Terms of Service, and to abide by and comply with these Terms of Service. In any case, you affirm that you are at least 16 years old as the WhatsApp Service is not intended for children under 16. If you are under 16 years of age, you are not permitted to use the WhatsApp Service. You further represent and warrant that you are not located in a country that is subject to a U.S. Government embargo, or that has been designated by the U.S. Government as a” terrorist-supporting” country, and that you are not listed on any U.S. Government list of prohibited or restricted parties. WhatsApp is the developer of the Service, with an address at 3561 Homestead Road, #416, Santa Clara, CA 95010-5161, info at whatsapp.com.
These Terms of Service, and any rights and licenses granted hereunder, may not be transferred or assigned by you, but may be assigned by WhatsApp without restriction.
The Information WhatsApp Collects
WhatsApp may obtain the following types of information from or concerning you or your mobile phone device, which may include information that can be used to identify you as specified below (“Personally Identifying Information”): User Provided Information: You provide certain Personally Identifiable Information, such as your mobile phone number, push notification name (if applicable), billing information (if applicable) and mobile device information to WhatsApp when choosing to participate in various uses of the WhatsApp Service, such as registering as a user, updating your status or requesting status for your contacts. In order to provide the WhatsApp Service, WhatsApp will periodically access your address book or contact list on your mobile phone to locate the mobile phone numbers of other WhatsApp users (“in-network” numbers), or otherwise categorize other mobile phone numbers as “out-network” numbers, which are stored as one-way irreversibly hashed values. Cookies Information: When you visit the WhatsApp Site, we may send one or more cookies – a small text file containing a string of alphanumeric characters – to your computer that uniquely identifies your browser. WhatsApp uses both session cookies and persistent cookies. A persistent cookie remains after you close your browser. Persistent cookies may be used by your browser on subsequent visits to the site. Persistent cookies can be removed by following your web browser help file directions. A session cookie is temporary and disappears after you close your browser. You can reset your web browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, the WhatsApp Site may not function properly if the ability to accept cookies is disabled. Log File Information: When you use the WhatsApp Site, our servers automatically record certain information that your web browser sends whenever you visit any website. These server logs may include information such as your web request, Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser type, browser language, referring / exit pages and URLs, platform type, number of clicks, domain names, landing pages, pages viewed and the order of those pages, the amount of time spent on particular pages, the date and time of your request, one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser, your phone number, phone number you are requesting the status of and various status information. When you use the WhatsApp Service, our servers log certain general information that our application sends whenever a message is sent or received, or if you update or request any status information, including time and date stamps and the mobile phone numbers the messages were sent from and to.
The Information WhatsApp Does Not Collect
WhatsApp does not collect names, emails, addresses or other contact information from its users’ mobile address book or contact lists other than mobile phone numbers—the WhatsApp mobile application will associate whatever name the WhatsApp user has assigned to the mobile telephone number in his/her mobile address book or contact list — and this occurs dynamically on the mobile device itself and not on WhatsApp’s servers and is not transmitted to WhatsApp. This means that if you have your friend’s mobile phone number associated with the name “Shakespeare” in your mobile address book, that’s the name that will appear for that mobile phone number in your WhatsApp contact list. We do not collect location data, but users may voluntarily share their location with other users via the WhatsApp Service. The contents of messages that have been delivered by the WhatsApp Service are not copied, kept or archived by WhatsApp in the normal course of business. The WhatsApp Service is meant to be a SMS replacement, using data service through a user’s phone (either via cell network or wifi). Users type their messages, which are sent via data service to our servers, and routed to the intended recipient (who must also be a WhatsApp user), if that recipient is online. If the recipient is not online, the undelivered message is held in WhatsApp’s server until it can be delivered. If the message is undelivered for thirty (30) days, the undelivered message is deleted from our servers. Once a message has been delivered, it no longer resides on our servers. The contents of any delivered messages are not kept or retained by WhatsApp — the only records of the content of any delivered messages reside directly on the sender’s and recipient’s mobile devices (and which may be deleted at the user’s option). Notwithstanding the above, WhatsApp may retain date and time stamp information associated with successfully delivered messages and the mobile phone numbers involved in the messages, as well as any other information which WhatsApp is legally compelled to collect. Files that are sent through the WhatsApp Service will reside on our servers after delivery for a short period of time, but are deleted and stripped of any identifiable information within a short period of time in accordance with our general retention policies.
The Way WhatsApp Uses Information
When WhatsApp Discloses Information
Other users of the WhatsApp Service may see your Status Submissions in a way that is consistent with the use of the WhatsApp Service. For example, a status of “Can’t talk, please SMS instead” set by phone number +1 (408) 555-1212 will be available to every user of the WhatsApp Service who has that mobile phone number in their mobile phone’s address book or contact list. In other words: If another user has your mobile phone number stored in their mobile phone address book or contact list, they will be able see your status information unless you have chosen to block such user. “Last Seen” information is available and displayed to each user who has your mobile phone number in their mobile phone address book or contact book (and which you have not blocked), and reflects the last approximate time the WhatsApp mobile application has been used or brought to the foreground on your mobile phone. “Last Seen” information is reported to WhatsApp when a user brings the mobile application to the foreground. We do not sell or share your Personally Identifiable Information (such as mobile phone number) with other third-party companies for their commercial or marketing use without your consent or except as part of a specific program or feature for which you will have the ability to opt-in or opt-out. We may share your Personally Identifiable Information with third party service providers to the extent that it is reasonably necessary to perform, improve or maintain the WhatsApp Service. We may share non-personally-identifiable information (such as anonymous User usage data, referring / exit pages and URLs, platform types, asset views, number of clicks, etc.) with interested third-parties to assist them in understanding the usage patterns for certain content, services, advertisements, promotions, and/or functionality on the WhatsApp Site. We may collect and release Personally Identifiable Information and/or non-personally-identifiable information if required to do so by law, or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with state and federal laws (such as U.S. Copyright Law), international law or respond to a court order, subpoena, or search warrant or equivalent, or where in our reasonable belief, an individual’s physical safety may be at risk or threatened. WhatsApp also reserves the right to disclose Personally Identifiable Information and/or non-personally-identifiable information that WhatsApp believes, in good faith, is appropriate or necessary to enforce our Terms of Service, take precautions against liability, to investigate and defend itself against any third-party claims or allegations, to assist government enforcement agencies, to protect the security or integrity of the WhatsApp Site or our servers, and to protect the rights, property, or personal safety of WhatsApp, our users or others.
Third-party Advertisers, Links to Other Sites
We are not fans of advertising. WhatsApp is currently ad-free and we hope to keep it that way forever. We have no intention to introduce advertisement into the product, but if we ever do, will update this section.
Our Commitment To Data Security
WhatsApp uses commercially reasonable physical, managerial, and technical safeguards to preserve the integrity and security of your personal information. We cannot, however, ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to WhatsApp and you do so at your own risk. Using unsecured wifi or other unprotected networks to submit messages through the WhatsApp Service is never recommended. Once we receive your transmission of information, WhatsApp makes commercially reasonable efforts to ensure the security of our systems. However, please note that this is not a guarantee that such information may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by breach of any of our physical, technical, or managerial safeguards. If WhatsApp learns of a security systems breach, then we may attempt to notify you electronically so that you can take appropriate protective steps. WhatsApp may post a notice on the WhatsApp Site or through the WhatsApp Service if a security breach occurs.
Our Commitment To Childrens’ Privacy
Protecting the privacy of young children is especially important. For that reason, WhatsApp does not knowingly collect or maintain Personally Identifiable Information or non-personally-identifiable information on the WhatsApp Site or WhatsApp Service from persons under 16 years of age, and no part of the WhatsApp Service is directed to or intended to be used by persons under 16. If you are under 16 years of age, then please do not use the WhatsApp Service or access the WhatsApp Site at any time or in any manner. If WhatsApp learns that Personally Identifiable Information of persons under 16 years of age has been collected on the WhatsApp Site or WhatsApp Service, then WhatsApp may deactivate the account and/or make the status submissions inaccessible. And always, think of the children!
Special Note to International Users
In the Event of Merger, Sale, or Bankruptcy
In the event that WhatsApp is acquired by or merged with a third party entity, we reserve the right to transfer or assign the information we have collected from our users as part of such merger, acquisition, sale, or other change of control. In the (hopefully) unlikely event of our bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, receivership, or assignment for the benefit of creditors, or the application of laws or equitable principles affecting creditors’ rights generally, we may not be able to control how your personal information is treated, transferred, or used.
Changes and updates to this Privacy Notice