Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users

The article questions how much privacy Whisper affords the many people who use the app to share millions of personal secrets about themselves each day. In the article, Whisper is accused of regularly collecting the location data of its users, even if they have opted out of that feature. It also said Whisper was sharing user information with the Defense Department for a research study on suicides without obtaining consent from users.

Although the Whisper is denial that they does not collect nor store: name, physical address, phone number, email address, or any other form of publicly identifiable information, it still causes people’s attention on how privacy anonymous social platform can be.

Actually, anonymity, which allows users to post almost anything they want without using their real names becomes an increasingly popular feature on social apps: Whisper, Secret and Facebook who also plans to introduce a service that deals with pseudonymous interactions in the coming weeks. But the problem is whether they are truly private or just a feature that lure you for telling your inner information.

It’s great there are these privacy-focused apps that allow people to share things in unique ways they couldn’t do as easily on other social networks. People have been sharing things pseudonymously online since the beginning of the Internet. Some of that sharing results in positive, life-changing experiences for people — such as online support groups. But Whisper is a reminder that apps that claim to protect your privacy are rarely as secure or “secret” as they seem. A service like Whisper that promotes such anonymity and privacy at its foundation but then turns around and spies on its own users is really make people concern about their private matters.

So how do you see the problem of privacy for anonymous apps?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/16/-sp-revealed-whisper-app-tracking-users

Wang Yidi

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