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Opinion: WhatsApp, Signal and The Myth of Online Privacy

The recent uproar against WhatsApp is finally pacing down and the herd is back to its definite home despite the recent changes, in the Privacy Policy. Whatsapp’s recent changes put user data at risk, as per the new privacy policy, Whatsapp is the going to share the Business data, payments and other to enhance the product experience of their user with its camaraderie Facebook. In a recent blog post, Whatsapp clarified,

"WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. It's why we don't keep logs of who everyone's messaging or calling. We also can't see your shared location and we don't share your contacts with Facebook," it said in a blog post, and added: "This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook."

In fact, Whatsapp took traditional media, social media and further stated on faqs to manoeuvre the same after unseen predicament. it clarified that the chats are however still private.
Notwithstanding, the concern remains as clarification and reality don’t intersect. In retrospect, The alleged Scandal of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook and the recent breach put over 267 million users exposed just by the specified later.

In this hotchpotch, users tried to find better alternatives and moved to safer messaging apps like Signal or Telegram. The exodus slowed down as the necessity overcame availability, and mass migration wasn’t possible at such pace despite the encroach.

In honest opinion, Online Privacy is just a myth. From the time you connect with an IP address, It is being tracked and traced by several centralized and decentralized entities. few such are, your IP address provider, Your DNS, tracking .js and other cross-website tracking cookies that you choose or accept when you log on to ‘www.dummyweb.abc’ . Some of the scripts are blocked by the browser, i.e, if you choose privacy-friendly browser as Brave or Firefox. Some by the user trough means of plugins. However, now the plugins are keeping a tab on you. Remember Ghostery? and rest encroach inside your private surfing style and harvest data for the advertiser.

Further, advert uses trackers to find your profound interest and bombard them in your feeds. Feel concerned? and Just need answers? You can skip to this part. As per the psychological claims, human tend to buy product seen often in comparison to others. The ads basically motivate us subconsciously to buy certain products. Not the least, data harvesting is the obvious truth of the online world. traceback, whois, ping, cookies and logs all are the footprint that we leave while browsing. However, there is a difference if we choose to share selected/curated data with a certain entity; similar to any other offline agreement such as banks, govt offices, consulting firm, etc. but the above bold words decide and differentiate between ethical and unethical practice. sudden change in policy by an entity is definitely the latter one.

Now, the stipulated concern remains “How to Be safe then?” and the answer is VPN; One which doesn’t log details but not the free one. Moreover, which doesn’t keep logs. Hence, elevating you from the risk of exposing your regular IP address to DNS, Websites and Advertiser. VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network that tunnels your real IP, mask and spoof them trough nodes to keep your privacy intact. If you are interested You can find a quick comparison of VPN service here (Unsponsored).

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Since You came Here

A Quick Comparison Between WhatsApp and Alternatives

Signal
  • Open Source
  • True E2E
  • Local Backups Only
  • Screen Security
  • GroupChat Security
  • Self Destruct Messaging
  • Cross Platform
Telegram
  • Not Completely Open Source
  • Server Has Keys
  • GroupChat Security
  • Inbuilt Cloud Backup
  • Screen Security
  • Self Destruct Messaging
  • Cross Platform
Whatsapp
  • Not Open Source
  • Unencrypted Backups
  • GroupChat Security
  • Screen Security
  • GroupChat Security
  • Self Destruct Messaging
  • Cross Platform
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