You can now download the data WhatsApp collects on you
WhatsApp has rolled out its data portability tool in the form of a "Request Account Info" feature using which you can download a copy of all your data that the chat app has. This includes account information and settings, contacts, profile photos, and groups. The feature is available on WhatsApp beta v2.18.128 on Android and will come to everyone in the app's next update.
However, you can't download messages as WhatsApp already provides the option of exporting chat history to e-mail. The feature comes as parent company Facebook looks to comply with the upcoming European data privacy law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It requires companies to compulsorily offer data portability and delete data upon user request. GDPR will come into effect on May 25.
WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Request Account Info. Once clicked, the screen will be updated to "Request sent." Your data report will be made available within three days after the request is sent, and when WhatsApp is ready with it, you will be notified. You have a one-month window to download the report, after which WhatsApp will delete it from its servers.
Settings > Account > Request Account Info > Download report. It will be downloaded in a ZIP file. There will be an HTML file that is easy to read and a JSON version that can be exported to a third-party app. However, if you delete your account, change your number, change your device, or re-register your account, your data download request will be canceled.
As part of GDPR compliance, WhatsApp has also increased its minimum user age from 13 to 16 in Europe. Instagram, also owned by Facebook, has started rolling out its own data portability tool using which you can download everything you've shared on the photo-sharing app.