WhatsApp used by Facebook to spy on users for serving ads says anti-virus maker Avast

WhatsApp used by Facebook as a bait to spy on users and serve them with ads on their Facebook timeline says Avast CEO, Vincent Steckler

Google, WhatsApp and Facebook spy on their users to find out their interest for serving targeted advertisements. This was stated by anti-virus maker Avast CEO, Vincent Steckler, who also said that their users probably know this. He was talking on the sidelines of release of Avast findings on cyber security issues and unveiling of anti-theft mobile security software.

“Google is an advertising company. Google revenue is basically from AdWords. Spying on users, getting what they are interested in and serving them advertisement is what their business model is. There is nothing inherent wrong with it. Users know what’s going on, I think,”Avast CEO Vincent Steckler told reporters today.

Facebook and Google are known to spy on users to target them with contextual adds, but why add WhatsApp to the list? Apparently the data collected from a WhatsApp user is used to target the user’s Facebook timeline with ads according to┬áSteckler.

“Did you ask all of your friends and colleague to share their personal and private information with Facebook. That’s another biggest user of privacy. WhatsApp is a data collector to serve you advertising inside Facebook. … you get advertisement on Facebook based on conversation you had on WhatsApp,” Steckler said.

Steckler went on to add that WhatsApp users also breach privacy of their acquaintances by sharing contact details to use applications on mobile phones.

“In order to use WhatsApp, you have to share your entire contact database. Which means you provided all your friends and colleagues contact details to Facebook. Do you have right to do that?” Steckler said.

Facebook has not yet commented on the issue.

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  1. It’s not surprising. Why else would Facebook have bought WhatsApp? (I switched to Threema the same day, btw; and I’m glad I did.)


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