(Pocket-lint) - WhatsApp is allowing users to download and view the data it collects.

The Facebook-owned service is announcing this feature ahead of the European data privacy rules that go into effect 25 May, as well as in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It now allows you to request and export a report of your WhatsApp account settings and information, including your contacts, profile photo, and group names. The feature will be rolling out to all users around the globe.

When can you request your WhatsApp data report?

In April 2018, WhatsApp announced that, in the coming weeks, you will be able to see and download your WhatsApp account settings and information. This feature, called Request Account Info, is rolling out to all users via an update to the WhatsApp mobile app. It doesn't include your messages, however. If you want to view your chat history instead, you can learn how do that from here.

How to request your WhatsApp data report

To download your data report:

  1. Make sure you're running the latest version of WhatsApp.
  2. Go to WhatsApp Settings.
  3. Go to Account.
  4. Go to Request account info.
  5. Tap Request report.
  6. The screen will update to Request sent.

How to download your WhatsApp data report

You're unable to view the downloaded report within WhatsApp itself. You must use an external app in your share tray to export the report. For instance, you can email a copy of the report to yourself. The report will be in a ZIP file that includes an HTML file that is easy to view.

  1. Go to WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Go to Account.
  3. Go to Request account info.
  4. Go to Download report.
  5. A ZIP file will be downloaded to your phone.
  6. Once the file is downloaded to your phone, select Export report.

When can you view your WhatsApp data report?

Your report will be available about three days after the date requested. You can refer to the "Ready by" date while waiting. When the report is available, you'll receive the following notification on your phone: Your account info report is ready to download. The Request account info screen in the app will tell you how much time you have to download the report (only a few weeks) before it's deleted from WhatsApp's servers.

Want to know more?

Check out WhatsApp's help hub.

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Writing by Maggie Tillman.