IT Matters – WhatsApp – a private way to communicate, right?

So, sending text messages on your phone, especially with pictures attached is expensive, right?  It eats into your free stuff and minutes.  So you use WhatsApp instead.  It’s free and they don’t share their info with any one…  OK, I’m fed up with sticking a sarcastic ‘right’ on the end of each question.  You get the innuendo.

IT Matters

Who owns WhatsApp?

WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum  both ex-Yahoo and, sometime after they left, they applied for a job with Facebook.  They were turned down.

Irony, thy sweet name is WhatsApp.  In 2014 Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion.  Hell of a bonus, lads!  Up to that point, I believe they did respect your privacy.  I am personally not comfortable with the mighty Facebook owning WhatsApp.

You can read an article on their privacy policies or you can read the privacy policies for WhatsApp Online.

But Waze is private, right?

Sorry, a sarcastic ‘right’ slipped in there.  Waze started off life as FreeMap, created by an Israeli company who, in 2008, formed a company called Waze.  By 2012, the app had been downloaded 12 million times worldwide, and by that July had over 20 million users.

OK, who owns Waze?

Haven’t I just told you?  It’s an Israeli company, ri…  Stopped myself, just in time!  In 2013, Google acquired Waze for $966 million.  So, what’s the problem with that?  Personally and in my opinion, the last people in the world (even including the ubiquitous Facebook) that I want stalking my every move, collecting my recordings, chats with friends and even my contacts, is Google.  Have you read the Waze ‘privacy’ policy?  Here’s an extract:

Waze may also share personal information with companies or organizations connected or affiliated with Waze, such as subsidiaries, sister-companies and parent companies (i.e. entities that belong to the Google group of companies).

For verification, read the DuckDuckGo blog, on these two, seemingly independent, apps. You can also read the WhatsApp and Waze history on Wikipedia who is, on the internet, probably as impartial as it gets.

Do you use WhatsApp and Waze, Fliss?

Not any more.  Actually, I tried Waze a long time ago and never got on with it.   And I deleted Whatsapp from my phone when I found out who owned it.

Important Note:

Any links given are given in good faith and no responsibility is taken for any adverse results should you click on text or a graphic that acts as a link to another area. If you are concerned, close the Window –   in the top left-hand corner of the window – if you find yourself in a window or a site in which you are not comfortable. Push comes to shove, switch the computer off – but be aware, you may lose unsaved work in other applications.

No site or company is personally recommended – they are simply places where you may (or you may not) get more help.

Many of the links in this blog are specifically from a free online encyclopedia called Wikipedia. As far as ‘trustworthy information’ goes, Wikipedia is probably the best one. Founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger (and others) in… but hey, click on the links to find out more. Oh yes, and there’s the BBC (in the UK) but I don’t know the news channels in other countries to be able to comment.

This series is specifically about PCs (Personal Computers) and Windows 10 and not about Apple Macs.

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