Facebook buys WhatsApp - Will Your Personal Texts Be Data-Mined?
2014 02 21

By Red Ice Creations

Facebook just bought the social networking app ’WhatsApp" for a large sum of $16 billion, granting access to the app’s vast international user base.

The popular app is described by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as a "simple, fast and reliable mobile messaging service". It’s popularity stems from the implied privacy of the software, and it was a way to communicate with family and friends while avoiding expensive phone plans.

Enter Facebook, well known for its invasive data mining, and now the issue may be that WhatsApp users will no longer have the privacy they’re used to.

A recent Maclean’s article suggests that WhatsApp users might be in for more than they’ve bargained for.

As reported by Mclean’s:

[...]here’s an interesting thought: so much of Facebook’s revenue-generation strategy relies on target marketing and data-mining, and considering its base of young people and growing foreign markets, data-mining WhatsApp would be the equivalent of data-mining text messages. What Facebook does best is allow you to give a sense of the things that define you and who you really are, but that means there’s a lot of social media preening, a defense mechanism that goes down when you’re off social media, while calling or texting your friends in intimate and personal moments. If we’re a projected, best version of ourselves on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, what could advertisers do with knowledge of what we’re like when we’re our actual selves? WhatsApp’s creator says users will not see any changes and that it will not integrate ads, but that doesn’t preclude under-the-hood tinkering that could provide more information for ads on the Facebook platform.

Facebook is notorious for data collection, aggressive advertising, and the shunning of ’privacy’ as irrelevant to today’s society. It will undoubtedly push past any limitations that were the intentions of the WhatsApp founders.

ThinkProgress writes:
WhatsApp prides itself on limiting data collection from its users. Both of WhatsApp’s founders, Jan Koum and Brian Acton worked for Yahoo and saw how tech companies exploited users’ online activity to make better ads. “These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads,” the founders wrote on WhatsApp’s blog. “When we sat down to start our own thing together three years ago we wanted to make something that wasn’t just another ad clearinghouse.”

Koum, who grew up in communist Ukraine, is a staunch privacy supporter because of his upbringing. “Jan’s childhood made him appreciate communication that was not bugged or taped,” Jim Goetz, a partner with Sequoia Capital, a WhatsApp investor, told the Wall Street Journal.

The app was built on the premise that people can share messages, photos and videos without interference from third parties. Those messages are deleted off WhatsApp’s servers once they’re delivered.

Now under new management, users should not assume that their SMS messages are private, and should take care with the content of their messages the same way that they did previously with their Facebook posts (you did that, right?). In the era of ubiquitous global surveillance for money and control, it’s in our best interest to maintain those privacy ’defense mechanisms’ when not face-to-face with our contacts.

By Red Ice Creations




Sources:

ThinkProgress.org

Macleans.ca





Related Articles
Facebook loosens privacy settings for kids, allows photos and personal info to be shared with strangers, marketers
Google ’respects’ but disagrees on privacy
Gmail users cannot expect privacy while sending mails: Google
Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have ’Nothing to Hide’
Yahoo , Facebook CEOs: We faced jail if we revealed NSA surveillance secrets
Regret Facebook? Here’s an escape route.
Assange: Facebook is the most appalling spy machine that has ever been invented
NSA collects millions of text messages daily in ’untargeted’ global sweep


Latest News from our Front Page

STAGED INFECTION: Has The Ebola ‘Outbreak’ Narrative Fallen Apart?
2014 10 22
Over the past month, the ‘pandemic’ propaganda surrounding the deadly Ebola virus seemed to reach vitriolic levels – raising serious questions about the validity of this current viral outbreak… On Monday of this week, it was reported that 48 people were released and cleared after a 21-day quarantine due to their contact with the now deceased Ebola-stricken patient Thomas Eric ...
6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered
2014 10 21
A 6,000-year-old temple holding humanlike figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered within a massive prehistoric settlement in Ukraine. Built before writing was invented, the temple is about 60 by 20 meters (197 by 66 feet) in size. It was a "two-story building made of wood and clay surrounded by a galleried courtyard," the upper floor divided into five ...
What happened to Journalist Serena Shim? Assassinated? Find out what happened to Serena, Press TV director calls on Turkey
2014 10 21
Press TV news director Hamid Reza Emadi says the “suspicious death,” of the news channel’s correspondent in Turkey is a tragedy for “anyone who wants to get the truth.” Emadi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday following Serena Shim’s death across the border from Syria’s Kurdish city of Kobani, where the ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters ...
Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for Information Storage
2014 10 21
The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice that changes colour depending on the direction of the light upon it. It baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s, as they could not work ...
Rapid Geomagnetic Reversal Possibility: Confirmed
2014 10 21
From the video: "The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is the Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia." Tune into Red Ice Radio: Ben Davidson - Suspicious0bservers: Space Weather ...
More News »