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.
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
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
Left and their big fat multi-cultural lie
2014 08 30
Picture the scene; a taxi is pulled over by an officer from South Yorkshire Police who finds a half-naked 12-year-old in the back of the cab so drunk or drugged that she can hardly stand. When interviewed, the taxi driver is found to have pornographic pictures of the girl on his phone.
The officer hands back the phone and – no ...
Rotherham - Child sacrifice to diversity god
2014 08 30
It is sad to see how the once great nation of England has fallen. Britain now rivals North Korea for totalitarian control. If you are White, the wrong word can send you to jail. If you are non-White you are free to rape and kill the native British with impunity.
If Henry the VIII came back from the grave, he could ...
Hungary’s Orban Bashes Liberal Immigration Policy
2014 08 29
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday lashed out against immigration, setting one of the main policy objectives of his next term in power after winning parliamentary elections in April.
“The goal is to cease immigration whatsoever,” said Hungary’s prime minister. “I think the current liberal immigration policy, which is considered obvious and morally based, is hypocrite,” Mr. Orban said.
At a ...
China’s “Duplitecture” Cities Mimic the World’s Greatest Architectural Hits
2014 08 29
The best knockoffs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes, but China’s knockoffs go way beyond fashion. There are knockoff Apple stores that look so much like the real thing that some employees believe they are working in real Apple stores. And then there are entire knockoff cities. There are Venices with ...
Kiev loses control of Novoazovsk, rebel troops advance in southeast Ukraine
2014 08 29
Kiev’s troops had to leave the eastern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk to save their lives, said the country’s Security and Defense Council. The authorities admitted that self-defense forces are advancing and leading a counteroffensive in the southeast.
Along with Novoazovsk, Kiev troops have lost control over the villages of Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo in the Donetsk Region of Eastern Ukraine.
According to Ukraine’s ...
|More News » |