Items tagged with WhatsApp

Is Big Brother watching? Well, "he" no longer is in Germany. WhatsApp and Facebook have been banned from sharing information with one another by Johannes Caspar, the Hamburg Data Protection Commissioner. WhatsApp and Facebook cemented their deal this past August in a move that was especially surprising since WhatsApp had originally argued that it wanted to know “as little about you as possible”. This promise was supposedly maintained when Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014. It appears that the companies quickly altered their tune. They later reasoned, “By connecting your phone number... Read more...
Earlier this week, WhatsApp made the surprising move to begin sharing user information with its parent company, Facebook. WhatsApp's original stated goal was to know “as little about you as possible”, but that mantra seems to have been thrown out the window in an effort to further increases Facebook’s booming mobile ad revenue. WhatsApp didn’t make any qualms about the benefits of such a move, writing on Thursday, “By connecting your phone number with Facebook's systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you... Read more...
We can’t say that we didn’t seen this one coming. Facebook for years has been begging users to hand over their phone numbers for account security purposes, but those that value at least some semblance of privacy have refused to do so. So the social media giant has found a new avenue to gain that information — through WhatsApp. The company, which just two years ago said that it “built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible,” will soon be sharing more user information with Facebook. The company claims that this move will allow it to provide better friend suggestions based... Read more...
For a number of great reasons, WhatsApp is an instant message client worth using. It can be used on your mobile device, or on the desktop (through the mobile device). It's reliable, fast, and best of all, secure. A couple of months ago, we learned that Facebook deployed always-on encryption in the app, making an already great chat client even better and more secure. Well, let's back things up just a tad. While WhatsApp does in fact use end-to-end encryption, and there's no fault there, an iOS researcher discovered a gaping flaw: deleted chats are not actually deleted (hmmm, that sounds familiar).... Read more...
It seemed like a crazy when a little over years ago Facebook announced it was purchasing WhatsApp for $19 billion. But the reason Facebook was wiling to pony up such an obscene sum is partly because of how wildly popular WhatsApp was at the time. It's only grown since then, and according to its developers WhatsApp users make over 100 million calls per day. "Today, more than 100 million voice calls are made every day on WhatsApp - that's over 1,100 calls a second! We're humbled that so many people have found this feature useful, and we're committed to making it even better in the months to come,"... Read more...
Facebook definitely recognized the growth opportunities in Instagram when it bought the company for $1 billion in stock and cash back in 2012. First launched as an iPhone app in 2010, the service had 50 million monthly active users by September 2011. By December 2014, that number had ballooned to 300 million. And today, Instagram has announced that it has over 500 million users worldwide. Of those 500 million monthly active users, over 300 million are active on a daily basis and 80 percent of its user base comes from outside the United States (this metric stood at 75 percent in September). Instagram... Read more...
John McAfee, the antivirus pioneer who created the self-titled AV software that was eventually sold to Intel for $7.68 billion, tried shopping a story to the media that he and his merry band of hackers thwarted WhatsApp's encryption because of a major flaw in Android. The only problem is it didn't exactly happen that way.WhatsApp is an interesting target because it recently announced the addition of end-to-end encryption. It's also the most used messaging application in the world with over a billion users, so if there's a flaw in Android, the most popular mobile OS on the planet, that compromises... Read more...
There's nothing wrong with showing up fashionably late to the party, and at long last, WhatsApp has decided to don the desktop with its presence. The wildly popular messaging application that's owned by Facebook announced the availability of its first desktop app for PCs running Windows 8 and higher and Macs running OS X 10.9 or newer.Since the desktop app runs natively on the desktop rather than through a web browser, WhatsApp brings support for native desktop notifications, better keyboard shortcuts, and so forth. But perhaps the biggest draw is end-to-end encryption. Much to the chagrin of government... Read more...
When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA's comprehensive spying efforts a few years ago, some might have thought that the agency (along with others) would cool their jets. After all, they were caught red-handed prying into our lives without our knowledge. As recent months have shown, however, the government, and especially the FBI, has no qualm about prying into our mobile devices if the desire is there. The FBI apparently even found a way into iPhones without Apple's help (which Apple has chosen to ignore). Fortunately for us, many software solution providers are capitalizing on consumer... Read more...
With all the hoopla surrounding encryption and the U.S. Government’s desire to gain access to any and all data by any means necessary, many tech companies are taking notice. When Apple stood up to the government, it had the backing of some of the biggest names in tech. One of those companies was Facebook, and it’s now carrying on Apple’s penchant for defiance by enabling end-to-end encryption for all of its 1+ billion WhatsApp users worldwide. Open Whisper Systems announced that its Signal Protocol has now been fully integrated into WhatsApp, which means encrypted communications via “chats, group... Read more...
The very public (and heated) battle between the FBI and Apple over encryption has spilled out into the public and factions are beginning to take sides. The battle lines are clearly drawn with public opinion largely split and tech giants lining up to support Apple’s decision to not “hand over the [encryption] keys” the FBI. Given this very public spotlight on encryption, a new report claims that Google and Facebook are making efforts to further increase their encryption levels to protect user data and keep it out of the hands of nefarious parties and even law enforcement agencies. For its part,... Read more...
WhatsApp is eliminating its $0.99 subscription fee in favor of a new business model, one that won't bother you with advertising. Well, not for now, anyway. Instead of replacing the nominal yearly subscription fee with ads, WhatsApp will experiment with bringing businesses on board. "Naturally, people might wonder how we plan to keep WhatsApp running without subscription fees and if today's announcement means we're introducing third-party ads. The answer is no. Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to... Read more...
Do you want to know why Facebook will avoid the same fate as MySpace? It's because Mark Zuckerberg and company have an uncanny ability to recognize big things in the making. This is underscored today by WhatsApp CEO and co-founder Jan Koum announcing on Facebook (where else?) that his instant messaging app now boasts 900 million users.That's up from around 450 million users when Facebook acquired the service last year for a whopping $19 billion, including $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares, and another $3 billion in restricted stock units doled out to WhatsApp's staff members.It... Read more...
We're constantly being reminded that our government has a great interest in our private lives, whether it's flying specially equipped planes over densely populated areas to trick tens of thousands of phones into forking over sensitive data, or snooping on Internet traffic, big brother's watching us. One of the few ways to maintain a little bit of privacy these days is through encryption, and in collaboration with Open Whisper Systems, WhatsApp is now providing end-to-end encryption for its users by default. The most recent WhatsApp for Android client includes support for the TextSecure encryption... Read more...
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