Wow. That's rather troubling.
EDIT: WhatsApp still claims to use end-to-end encryption. It was probably just a case of Sandberg not knowing the answer.
Doesn't this mean that everything but messages will be open for exploitation?
This is clearly why they're already targeting status updates. Once they figure out if you're male or female then the deeper profiling can begin. A sad day.
It's a little like the Evil Maid problem. Mr Zuck has his fingers on the WhatsApp keyboard and you can be sure there's trouble ahead.
I agree she probably does not understand the technical side all that well, but that's not her job.
I've shared that link with my "Family" WhatsApp group (there's no chance I'm getting them onto something else though..)
> Facebook uses an internal database to track rivals, including young startups performing unusually well, people familiar with the system say. The database stems from Facebook’s 2013 acquisition of a Tel Aviv-based startup, Onavo, which had built an app that secures users’ privacy by routing their traffic through private servers. The app gives Facebook an unusually detailed look at what users collectively do on their phones, these people say. The tool shaped Facebook’s decision to buy WhatsApp and informed its live-video strategy, they say. Facebook used Onavo to build its early-bird tool that tips it off to promising services and that helped Facebook home in on Houseparty.
Apple has now forced Facebook to remove it from the App Store . I'm not sure if data harvesting has stopped. It might have even increased.
Facebook reminds me of Edison pushing his DC power distribution model on everyone. Telling the world nothing else will work. Trying to get them to build an Edison Power station every second block. Coasting on momentum built and wasting everyone's time. Spending huge resources buying out/maligning/litigating the competition. But it all fails. Few people ever needed DC power distribution. At the end of that story Edison says after a series of humilations in public and finally loosing control of his company "I have come to the conclusion that I never did know anything about Electricity".
That moment for Mr.Zuckerberg is fast approaching.
Maybe they made a mistake by selling, but I wouldn't have turned down total financial freedom for me and my family forever.
Whatever. I'll switch to Signal, and watch out for the next thing that these guys work on.
Hope not to see indifference caused by false equivalencies.
False equivalencies suck out oxygen and leave no room for nuances or discussions.
I am encouraging my social network to switch from Whatsapp to Signal, but I'll go cold turkey whether they switch or not.
Let's not kid ourselves. Illicit data collection is frustrating. But it isn't as bad as world hunger or mass diseases, human trafficking, or a myriad of other important issues.
If you get the chance, by all means, "sell out". Just use some of the money to help alleviate some suffering in this world.
I do think that in the rest of the world this sort of data collection has severe human rights consequences. What happens when oppressive regimes are willing to sign a contract with any of the dozens of adtech companies out there?
Imagine one working with some authoritarian government to help them track people considered some a "risk". It might be a criminal risk at the beginning, but it could easily turn into people using this data to track and spy members of the opposition party. Or even just to track people who have voiced dissent or the people who've only _talked_ to those people.
It goes beyond pure politics, too. What if some entity is trying to crack down on members of a particular religion, sexual orientation, or ethnic group. People who might have been able to hide those well enough may not be able to do so if so much of their online activity is being monitored.
That said, we all lost when WhatsApp was acquired by FB. I don’t think I stand a chance migrating friends off the platform, so despite closing my FB account a long time ago, they’ve still got me. So should we so quickly say “it’s fine, we’d all do the same”? It’s fine to not want to be a hypocrite, but isn’t this an enormously broken model we could be critical of?
The tech youth of today mostly dream of starting up some fancy company, selling out for billions, and throwing their users under the bus en masse, no?
Yeah that's not what hypocrisy means at all. Hypocrisy is when someone's actions contradict their own stated beliefs. Hypocrisy is not based on the hypothetical. If I were a staunch privacy advocate however and sold my company to FB, a company with zero regard for privacy then this would be hypocritical behavior. Conversely if I were someone who didn't value privacy and took FB money I would not be a hypocrite at all.
Well, one of the things "FU money" allows you to say "fuck you" to in addition to bad employers are the moral police that pretend they wouldn't do the exact same thing in the same situation.
Start a commune, help solve world hunger, do what you like with your "ill-gotten" gains, but don't pretend you'd be so quick to walk away on principle alone.
Let's be clear, it's probably not that hard after you've already pocketed the first two billion.
I'll try to come up with a 'close equivalence'.
>Person makes Billions of dollars by giving his organization to a questionable company. This includes the personal information of users, the social infrastructure, and employees.
I am a 10%er who saves literally $60,000 USD/yr, let alone my wife is a Dr. with her own income. I cannot see myself selling out for petty money. Money cannot buy happiness when you can buy almost everything you want.
My side projects look to profit as profit as a capitalistic indicator of beneficial change.
So I dont understand, what is this person going to do with the money? If you sell out, you better be doing significantly better things with that money.
All of this is IMO, life philosophy, and the culture around me.
It's a tough life being a tech billionaire.
example that I see every day: taking the train for convenience, but spinning it as "saving the planet"