WhatsApp wooed users with privacy promise, but will soon share data with Facebook


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/25/whatsapp-wooed-users-with-priv.html


This is some weird proof that gravity affects information.




*The COMPANY reserves the right to amend this privacy policy at any time.


Ah yes. Truly what instant messaging services have been missing - and what users have been clamoring for - is a way for businesses to easily shovel more shit at us. I can’t wait for Best Buy to start asking me for my (nonexistent) WhatsApp account at checkout on top of my phone number and email address…



Getting really sick of having to keep track of this stuff.


I believe it is already happening. In July I started having advertisements show up for a product that I had mentioned in a WhatsApp post but never mentioned in any of my emails or facebook posts


In reasonable legal system no contract with one-sided permissive change without notice clauses would be valid because they make some or all of the rest of the contract irrelevant.

We might as well sign a much shorter and more honest contract that says “I irrevocably agree to whatever The Corporation says, whenever it says it” Because that’s what many of the contracts essentially say.


Why keep track? Assume everything is compromised.



Leviathan hippocampus shipwreck - amirite!



Unfortunately, here is yet another glorious instance of ‘metadata’ biting us in the ass.

At least to the best of my research, ‘WhatsApp’ is considered to be atypically competent as encrypted messaging mechanisms go. After an initial false start with something else, they’ve moved to using Signal for traffic encryption; and that’s about as good an option as you could hope for.

However, by virtue of tying users to account information(along with whatever tidbits about your handset the app feels like collecting); plus likely having knowledge of who is talking to who when and where, they know a lot about you; and Zuckerberg isn’t running a charity here.

The situation would, obviously, be even worse if the message contents were in the clear as well; but WhatsApp can reasonably be assumed to have access to all the ‘just metadata’ that aren’t comforting at all, not even slightly, when our favorite perjury-crazed spooks have access to them.


Another classic example of the ol’ software/policy bait-and-switch. Facebook is perhaps the greatest pioneer of such bullshittery.


“We’re not going to use your phone number for advertising, we’re only going to use it for advertising.”


Your face is compromised.


shocking news.


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