As we BlackBerrians know, Whatsapp is a poor mans BBM. It took the idea, copied it, used phone numbers rather than PIN numbers and, through such a mechanism, added a very handy bit of programming to add contacts like a man possessed. In the process, whilst BlackBerry were slow to react, grabbing themselves the largest slice of the messaging pie.
And for that, fair play to them. But, as we all know, one thing got lost along the way. The privacy and security of the user.
Now, in a damning report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (or EFF) Whatsapp has been named the WORST messaging app at keeping users data private or secure as reported by the Daily Express in the UK:
EFF has been running the report, which is called “Who Has Your Back?”, since 2011. This is the first time popular cross-platform messaged WhatsApp has been included in the report.
Despite giving WhatsApp a full year to prepare for the survey, the firm “has adopted none of the best practices we’ve identified as part of this report”, wrote EFF.
WhatsApp does not require a warrant before handing over content sent and received by customers, according to the EFF report.
The report adds: “WhatsApp should publicly require a warrant before turning over user content, publish a law enforcement guide and transparency report, have a stronger policy of informing users of government requests, and disclose its data retention policies.”
EFF ranks technology companies according to five criteria –
1) Whether the firm follows the best practices for data security
2) Whether users are informed when the government requests for users’ private data and content
3) Whether the company has published public policies concerning retaining their customer’s data
4) Whether they reveal when the government has requested content be removed
5) Finally, whether they publicly oppose the idea of governments creating a backdoor into the services to allow easy-access to private content
WhatsApp has failed almost EVERY criteria. People concerned about keeping their data private should DELETE WhatsApp and steer clear of Google and Microsoft services.
The EFF didn’t include BBM in their survey. Perhaps they should have done.
Because if they had the title of the Express piece would have been somewhat different:
‘Why DELETING WhatsApp AND SWITCHING TO BBM could be the smartest thing you do all day’
I mean, come on… look at the above.
Do you use Whatsapp?
If you do, don’t you understand how words can be twisted? How innocent things can be made to damn you? And if you can’t see any of this and you really do think you are better off with Whatsapp than BBM I’m afraid I only have one question…
Are you mad?