won't hasn't already.
WhatsApp has agreed not to share users' data with parent biz Facebook after failing to demonstrate a legal basis for the ad-fuelling data slurp in the EU. The move comes after a years-long battle between the biz and European data protection agencies, which argued that changes to WhatsApp's small print hadn't been properly …
I quite like WhatsApp. No advertising. Tend to use it with family members for mundane stuff like shopping lists and organizational drivel. I don't need to trust WhatsApp, and I've never read their T&C's. It's not as if I'm using it to overthrow the state (I use carrier pigeons for that), YMMV
"Facebook will have your phone number. "
Lions,tigers and bears, oh my!
Do you really believe Facebook doesn't already have my number? Or yours? Google too. I'm absolutely certain they have my phone number. I suspect some of the hundreds of online retailers I have used over the last decade will have been hacked too so the number isn't exactly a state secret.
I think that everyone should stop using WhatsApp (along with anything else owned by Facebook) anyway. Facebook can't be trusted, and therefore all companies that Facebook owns can't be trusted.
Oh, it's far, FAR more interesting than that. Now it's formally in black and white in court papers it's impossible to deny that WhatsApp shares data. Which can also be termed as A Flaming Big Risk For Any Business That Uses It, because it is impossible to deny that you thus willingly share customer data with an untrusted third party (based in a country with at best questionable laws and law enforcement) without the permission of the data owner.
After all, I can't stop you from entering my details in your address book, but as soon as you share that as a business without my explicit permission you are in breach, no excuses.
Hello GDPR, May might be a fun time for privacy. From my contacts in the consulting world I've already heard there's little take up of their offers of assistance, so nobody is interested in even pretending they aim at compliance. This means we can look forward to someone big being made an costly example. Not that I think anyone is brave enough to risk a trade war by ripping the balls off the US companies that abuse our privacy, but someone is going to get hit very hard.
The problem is, so many people use WhatsApp, it needs some momentum to get people to switch. Why use 2 or 3 chat clients, when you already have one you use with (nearly) all of your contacts? For the non-privacy and non-tech aware people, it is easy.
And, according to the German DPC, using WhatsApp is illegal, if you have it scour your contacts for, erm, contacts as this information is sent to the WhatsApp servers without obtaining the permission of those contacts first...
Facebook itself may be useful, but we know it can’t be trusted, so, by extension, any other system that Facebook gets its hands on also can’t be trusted (the weaknesses of what doesn’t pass for data protection legislation in the USA doesn’t help, either).
I really don’t know why more people don’t just go straight to the source and use Signal messenger instead?
People don't use Signal because none of their friends do.
Mine now do. And, to be honest, I have no problem ignoring people who don't respect my privacy.
I am very much toying with the idea of talking to the EU commission about finding ways to expand the Data Subject Access Request to any organisation seeking to trade in the EU to force the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Microsoft to cough up in full what they have collected about me from/through others, because that is at the moment a gaping gap in the legislation.
.. or Telegram which is functionally close to WhatsCrap, or the best of all, Threema. The latter costs vast sums of money (some £2 or so), which is apparently too high a cost for privacy for some people :)
There are IMHO simply too many alternatives -mostly free- to justify using WhatsApp
An elderly family member is ill and probably heading for his last few weeks. The rest of the family uses WhatsApp to stay in touch about this, and the pressure to succumb and join is severe. I found out about this last slurp, or alleged slurp, or slurp but not a slurp if the ICO thinks we're slurping,when looking to see if the Ts and Cs were at all reasonable. At a time like this, I can't expect the family members to research an alternative, like Wire, but at the same time, I just can't bring myself to gift myself to Facebook even if the utility of the present moment is overwhelming. What to do, oh, what to do...?
TL;DR - Look at all the good that can be done with WhatsApp, but the price is just too high.
None of the alternatives to Signal can be considered secure at this stage, least of all Telegram which has proprietary 'roll your own' server crypto (by two mathematicians with no crypto experience) that cannot be audited.
As for Threema, Wire, WICKR, whichever of the others I've regularly investigated over the last five years or so (last time was around two months ago) but forgotten about (Viber, anyone?), either there are still concerns about the privacy/security measures that are serious enough to warrant a "I'll stick with Signal" or they aren't significant enough for me to even remember that they exist - and in that latter case they certainly don't have the manpower behind them to keep on top of security flaws well enough for us to rely upon.
I'd love to like Threema myself, for instance, but the server source isn't available, it doesn't enforce PFS, it includes cloud backup of messages (which involves a third party by definition), there are no self-destructing messages (for what they're worth, I know, but nevertheless) and the need for payment means there is no anonymity (the IRL owner of a BTC is identifiable in 60% of cases).
Then you have to look at their provenance and funding: Wire might seem lovely and hippyish but what's to say it won't get sold the same way Skype was? Open Whisper Systems otoh have serious user/civil-rights/activist credentials and their funding is less opaque than that of Wire.
The only one mentioned on the EFF's Surveillance Self-Defense page is Signal (yeah, WhatsApp too, but it's a self-defence guide and some people won't listen to reason so they do their best by them).
Snowden and Schneier recommend Signal.
Nothing and no-one is perfect, but until the others are given as clean a bill of health as Signal by all auditors that's where I go for my messaging.
As for those people who say "Oh but you can't get people to use multiple messaging apps", yes you can. Insist on it. People come around eventually, get used to having multiple messaging apps just the same way they got used to having Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and Instagram and SnapChat and all the other apps they have on their phones for all the different things they do; it's an app not a second phone to lug around for goodness sake - launch it, use it, minimise it, forget it until you next need to use it or it bings at you (even your grandmother can do that without breaking a sweat).
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