Yesterday, I sent a message to my uncle concerning a business plan we’ve both been working on for a while. Few moments later, I received a WhatsApp chat message from an unknown number offering to help me achieve that same business idea with their existing solutions.
I have never chat with this person before and I don’t even know the company’s name but it appeared as though they’ve been monitoring my chat messages as the message they sent correlates exactly with the conversation between I and my uncle.
Might sound weird but that’s the reality. While this isn’t the first time I will be experiencing such, the last time it happened, a cyber based company claiming to be headquartered in Bangladesh messaged me asking that we do business together because they have a solution. The same solution I was discussing with someone that I want built.
Could WhatsApp be sending my message to their advertisers or not…that’s the biggest question I have in my mind because earlier, Mr Zuckerberg when asked about how their system works and if they are able to see what messages people are sending at their own back-end Admin side, he claimed all messages are encrypted meaning no one can read the computerized texts again since encryption is the safe measures for messages.
But then one might have to ask how this extremely big company is making it’s money after it claimed to have stopped charging people for the service and that sort of raised some controversies back in 2016 how the company intends to be generating it’s own income after being acquired by Facebook.
While that isn’t a really big issue to deal with, I had doubts that WhatsApp is sending my messages to advertisers who are in turn sending me messages to offer me services based on my messages to my friends and families.
This isn’t some political conspiracy or whatsoever but I just felt sort of not very safe when this happened but then I had to go online and make a bit of research to see if this was really happening. But don’t call me old school, Google was there to help me when in need.
I later realized the new approach WhatsApp is taking to market to their advertisers. According to Facebook’s Messaging Manager, David Marcus, WhatsApp is said to be now opened to advertisers meaning they can send and receive messages from and to people…probably randomly.
I wasn’t entirely shocked when I saw this news…I must’ve missed it during my course of other journalistic duties and mind you, even The Brum Post hasn’t been launched as at then which means I might be justified to some extent.
But the fact is this company has to sustain it and we, the people are the asset with which they’re using to generate incomes by synchronizing our information with Advertisers and getting them to use our vital information to make money.
While WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook is still under fire for users’ information misuse, WhatsApp might be heading towards the same direction if not well checked as soon as possible. While social media companies aren’t as transparent as they might appear, the fact that they all have some shady ways of doing things might make us all wonder about how secured our information are.
WhatsApp being an instant messenger makes communication a bit easier and that might mean that users are always exposing their very private and vital information on the platform rather than Facebook.
I said it in the past that WhatsApp might even be more dangerous than Facebook because it’s more personalized and handy. People barely text themselves these days and since WhatsApp had taken over from BBM, then it’s like it has no competitor ever since then and it’s growth had been very great and valuable.
WhatsApp being part of the driving force of the Facebook army of large users all around the world, one can undoubtedly agree with Elon Musk who called Mark Zuckerberg one of the most dangerous person on earth.
This makes me wonder how secured our information really are as far as social media scrutiny is concerned. Nearly 3 out of 5 people in the west owns a social media account and probably Facebook or it’s sister companies like Instagram or WhatsApp. With so much tension about users’ security and safety, we all turn back to the government to help us ensure the lives and livelihood of every living thing on the planet so we don’t enter our doom because some egomaniac tech enthusiasts wants to exploit every parts of nature via technology.
While Google might seem the same as with it’s for-profit search engine which targets your search histories at Advertisers so they can serve you related advertisements, I bet some companies might appear like a real advertisers with bad motives which can eventually lead to way lots of information theft as with Facebook.
Although the company had employed some more strict measures to scrutinize advertisers and people that uses their APIs, one might still have a doubting thoughts about how sincere these companies really are since social network companies only make money via people’s information…but selling those information? That isn’t what I would conclude upon but we might have to interview couple of people and bring those information back to you in coming weeks.
If you really care about privacy then you might want to consider stopping or find a better way to use WhatsApp so that your information are not leaked out to some blackhat advertisers who uses your information to do some terrible things. If you’ve noticed something as such, do not hesitate to fine-tune your approach to instant messages and even social networks in general.