How do I stay away from WhatsApp

WhatsApp: User data is saved even after the account has been deleted

WhatsApp account data is retained even after the deletion process
Screenshot: teltarif After WhatsApp was taken over by Facebook, numerous smartphone users looked for an alternative to smartphone messenger. WhatsApp has announced that the number of users will continue to grow. But there are also users who have switched to Threema, Telegram or another messenger, at least temporarily.

Even if the WhatsApp alternatives are very popular: There are still numerous users who can still only be found with the "original". If you no longer use WhatsApp, you can no longer communicate with these contacts via messenger. Many users have recognized this in the past few weeks, who then reinstalled the WhatsApp application on their mobile phones, which they had deleted in the meantime.

Recovery after deleting the account

WhatsApp account data is retained even after the deletion process
Screenshot: teltarif If you only deleted WhatsApp but did not delete your account, you only have to reinstall the software and confirm your phone number. The service can then be used again. In the case of contacts, your own mobile phone number was still displayed as available anyway. Only the delivery of a message was not confirmed because it could not reach the recipient. After the reinstallation, chat messages that have been received in the meantime are still delivered, as was also shown in the test by teltarif.de.

However, users who have deleted their account can also restore it, as a further test has shown. WhatsApp recognizes during the reinstallation that the fees for the account in question have already been paid. These will therefore continue to be counted. Permanently free access, such as was available for iPhone owners until some time ago, is recognized in this way as "lifelong" free of charge, since it is a "first-time user", as WhatsApp calls the affected customers.

User data apparently remain on the WhatsApp server for a longer period of time

WhatsApp thus saves the mobile phone number and the payment data of the user even after deleting a membership, although their mobile phone number no longer appears in the contact list for other users and communication in groups is only possible again after re-joining. In case of doubt, this can lead to a customer canceling their cell phone contract without porting the phone number and without changing the cell phone number in the WhatsApp account. Some time later, another user is assigned the same phone number and can use WhatsApp for free.

This WhatsApp approach does not have any further consequences. For example, no chat logs are restored in this way, so that they could fall into the wrong hands. However, it is incomprehensible that the messaging operator leaves user data stored even after an account has been deleted. We have summarized details of various smartphone messengers in a guide to chat apps.