WhatsApp privacy at risk: Users chat activity can be tracked
This can be a coincidence. At the time when Facebook has been in the news for gathering its users’ data, growing privacy concern. A recent report claims that a new app dubbed Chatwatch is reportedly tracking a user’s chat activity on Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
This app lets people peep into a user’s contact list using WhatsApp’s online or offline status feature. The report asserts that it informs users how often their friends check the micro-blogging platform and can also estimate when they go to bed every day — potentially making it an invasive app.
In simpler terms, this new creepy app takes advantage of WhatsApp’s public online/offline status, which lets your friends know when you’re readily available to talk and if you have read the message, even if you have disabled read receipts and last seen.
“Using this data, the app can tell you how often your friends check WhatsApp. It can even estimate what time they go to sleep and wake up each day,” tech website LifeHacker reported. This comes at a time when Facebook users are uninstalling apps they got connected with long ago via “Facebook log-in” after the social media platform, which also owns WhatsApp, was hit by a major data breach.
“It’s a creepy new trick that the app’s developers hope will bring more attention to how Facebook handles our data, along with how other companies access and analyse it,” the report stated.
“It’s also likely that WhatsApp will find a way to block ‘Chatwatch’ soon. So if you want to spy on your friends expose Facebook’s privacy issues, you should try it soon,” it added.
This app was originally launched on iOS devices but it was later taken off from the Apple App Store. ‘Chatwatch’ is currently available on Android platform and the developers are reportedly working on a web-based version as well, as per the report.
The question here raises is — is WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption working efficiently. The instant messaging service is encrypted end-to-end so that the messages cannot be read by any other person.