NewsSecurity & Tech

WhatsAppp is Tracking You – Apple Reveals

Apple has revealed that the Facebook owned messaging application, WhatsApp, is tracking the location, contacts and shopping habits of its users.

In its newly introduced privacy label, Apple     Store has started showing users of applications a quick summary of their data practices.

On WhatsApp’s page, Apple warns users that the messaging app collects the users information that includes contacts, location and purchase history.

Other information including your financial information, email address, phone number and user content is also at risk of being gathered and linked to your identity.

However, as WhatsApp encrypts messages during transit, no one is able to read your decrypted messages – not even WhatsApp – except the receivers.

“We deployed end-to-end encryption throughout our app in 2016, meaning that calls, messages, photos, videos, and voice notes to friends and family are only shared with the intended recipient; no one else (not even us) can read them,” WhatsApp assured.

WhatsApp had reacted to Apple’s revelation saying that it does not shed light on how far the app will go in collecting your data.

“Our teams have submitted our privacy labels to Apple but Apple’s template does not shed light on the lengths apps may go to protect sensitive information,” WhatsApp said.

“While WhatsApp cannot see people’s messages or precise location, we’re stuck using the same broad labels with apps that do.” 

Data collected by WhatsApp on purchases made through shops is shared with Facebook to influence what you see in Shops on other Facebook products.

According to WhatsApp, the application “must collect some information to provide a reliable global communications service” but as “a matter of principle, we minimize the categories of data that we collect. For the limited kinds of data we do collect, we take measures to restrict access to that information.” 

The Apple Store privacy labels are expected to appear on all apps across the stores dedicated to Apple’s different devices and operating systems – iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS.

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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