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I believe it is fairly common knowledge that there are security and privacy concerns regards WhatsApp. The EFF, Ed Snowden, and many others, have expressed concern about the apps' integrity. You don't need to be a conspiracy nut or a guy with a tinfoil hat, in order to enjoy basic privacy.

I have been trying to delete the WhatsApp application from my phone and move my family, friends and even colleagues from WhatsApp onto a better alternative which is secure and privacy respecting. However, as you probably already know, WhatsApp is ingrained as a default messenger across the world and in many countries. Here in Spain, you can not survive without it. Teachers at school prefer to communicate with WhatsApp.

I have begin examining different options in order to be able to use WhatsApp whilst remaining as private and secure as possible. I even bought a phone specifically to "degooglize" it and install a hardened version of android called "grapheneos".

So far the best option seems to be to install WhatsApp on one of the user profiles to separate it from the main profile with all my contacts.

An alternative option could be to use WhatsApp through a bridge like matrix.

Does anyone have any other ideas on how to still use WhatsApp whilst making it as private as possible?

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    WhatsApp web service builds social graph of your profile based on metadata. It doesn't depend on hardening of OS.
    – defalt
    Jul 4, 2021 at 10:38
  • "degooglize"? Whatsapp is run by Facebook. The primary potential issue is what Facebook does with the App. Bridging will make no difference, its the App itself that is the potential risk. I understand your concern about the market level ubiquity of its use. I'm constantly encountering variants of, "Contact us on Facebook." If you have common Apps like Facebook or Uber or many others on your phone, Whatsapp is the least of your privacy invading concerns. Jul 4, 2021 at 17:11
  • "Teachers at school prefer to communicate with WhatsApp." You are fortunate indeed! It's still hands down better, more secure, and private than e-mail as is typical where I am. Jul 4, 2021 at 17:17
  • @user10216038: e-mail can easily transport encrypted messages, and that is a native feture in most mail readers like Thunderbird. With no concern for privacy if your contacts are local. But it is far less sexy... Jul 5, 2021 at 7:24
  • You can try to remain as anonymous as possible on WhatsApp by using it on a separate phone, with a separate SIM card, from a separate location, and maybe using a different language and a different choice of words whenever you chat. You must also convince all your contacts to do the same.
    – reed
    Jul 5, 2021 at 7:55

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I will skip the points around why you cannot be fully private with WhatsApp or evangelize you moving to Signal/Session/Etc. as you appear to already be cognizant of all of this.

In terms of what you can do:

At the end of the day, you can't use a fridge to boil an egg, and you can't be truly private (ironically trying to be more private might flag you on some platforms as being more suspicious). Have a go at these steps, assess your tolerance for WhatsApp with the functionality it provides, and try to cut down on information accessible on you associated with the application.

As mentioned in the comments it is the association and graphing of this which will give Big Company the most data on you. The fact you are thinking about this makes you more private than the average user, if only slightly as WhatsApp ultimately makes the rules around what you can and can't change about their platform.

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