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What I have:
- I don't want to install Whatsapp on my phone because I don't want it to access my personal data.
- There's an organisation that requires me to use Whatsapp to communicate with them.
- These two statements are mutually exclusive....

What I want:
- Is there any way for me to use Whatsapp without installing it on my phone? (I already have a Whatsapp user account.)
- Alternatively, is there a way to install and use Whatsapp without giving it access to all my data? (Contacts, calendar, camera, photos, etc etc.) I use Android 7.1.2 because there's no newer ROM for my phone.

I realize this might be offensive to some users ("use it or don't!") but please look past that. I'm trying to satisfy competing demands here.

Update:

  • I had another go at this. Installed the app again, did not give contacts permissions (or any other), and the app starts okay (on iOS it flatly refuses to start, so at least this is better on Android).
  • I cannot create a new message though. When I touch the "new message" button, I get a popup to share my contacts. No! This is not going to happen.
  • It won't let me just type in a phone number and send to that user. (This is allowed in Signal, for instance.)
  • It is possible to block those details from being shared with Whatsapp using this app, but I am uncertain whether Whatsapp would work. You can try and see for yourself. – Firelord May 7 at 12:45
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    @Firelord WhatsApp works if reading Contacts is denied using AppOps or XPrivacyLua. – Irfan Latif May 7 at 15:44
  • Another way could be to run WhatsApp in another Work Profile / User Account using some app like Shelter. This way storage will also be isolated. – Irfan Latif May 7 at 15:46
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You can disable the permission given to WhatsApp from setting --> Apps and notification --> App info --> Whatsapp --> Permissions and then turn off the permissions which you don't want to share. Whatsapp needs a valid sim card to run which can be used on phone or desktop only. Hence, you can run Whatsapp on desktop having a sim card option.

  • Thanks - but if I don't grant the contacts permission then the app refuses to start. If I leave it on even just once, the contacts data is taken. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun May 7 at 14:35
  • Hey, I just tried doing this thing and for me, the app still works. It does not show the name of the person but the app still works. – Dustrokes May 7 at 18:32

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