Whatsapp or Signal, which app is safe?
Finally WhatsApp talk about their silence data collection: they told to their more than 2 billion users that they had to share their personal data with Facebook in order to continue using the app!
Some of the users are aware that this is uncanny and dangerous, while some are more confused; they are indifferent to the fact that their data was already being collected.
Most of us are panicked and angry. Because it scares us all to have to change the communication platform we are used to and have been using for years.
However, the situation is neither normal enough to be underestimated and ignored, nor simple enough to be overcome by setting up the platform that comes before us and finding a blunt solution.
In order to understand what is happening and to make a decision, it is necessary to understand the basics and stay rational to the issue.
Our Personal Information
Your personal information is important and stored on technology giants’ servers. We have said before that information is the “new oil” of the age we live in. Because these companies that hold your information make money by selling them.
There are three structures that is behind your information.
- Companies; Because they want to read your personal data in order to target better ads.
- Cyber Attackers; They want to steal your money, sell and threaten your company secrets by seizing your identity, password, bank details, confidential documents and trade secrets.
- Governments and Politicians; They want to know everything you think, know, say. Thus, they both use their discourse to manipulate you, and they want to identify and destroy the people and groups that pose a threat to them and their possibilities.
Here you should ask yourself the question:
Which of these three do you think is the most dangerous? Companies that want to advertise?
Let me make a little reminder to help you. They are the products of Cambridge Analytica‘s work hand in hand with Facebook during the 2016 US elections, when Trump was elected. Also don’t forget Cambridge Analytica confession, that they affected Brexit vote that pulled the UK’s out of Europe.
There are many more events to be said. Riots, civil wars etc. in many countries. Those who wonder can watch again the confessions in Social Dilemma.
Many people think that the collection of their data is only about advertising shoes or baby clothes, which will come when they surf the web. This is true of course, but it’s almost the most innocent part of the truth.
What Did WhatsApp Say?
As you know, Apple asked app manufacturers to detail user information a month ago and announced that it would no longer allow this, and there was friction with Facebook.
Accordingly, WhatsApp has collected the following information from us so far:
- Financial Information
- User content
- Usage data
- Collecting diagnoses
Poor (!) Facebook, which declared that it would be a victim of Apple’s move, sent the notification we are currently talking to on Whatsapp to avoid losing valuable data a month later.
In the notification sent, you are expected to agree to share your personal data, including your phone number, with Facebook. If you say yes, you agree to share the following data with your phone number in addition to the above;
- Battery level
- Signal strength
- Application version
- Trainer information
- Mobile Network
- Connection Information (including phone number, ISP or mobile operator)
- Language and time zone
- IP Address
- Device Operations
- Identifiers and information (specific to Facebook products linked to the same device or account)
Another grave issue arises when you want to Delete the Application. Let’s say you didn’t agree to share the data above and you decided to delete your app. According to the new WhatsApp rules, you come up with the following:
- Even if the application is deleted, private information of a user continues to be stored in WhatsApp! To make sure the app still doesn’t keep your old data, you need to completely delete the app from your phone.
Let’s say you turn off the feature and delete it.
- However, it seems that some data will still remain with the company.
“When you delete your account, your information about groups you have created in the past or the information other users have about you and the copies of the messages you send to them will not affect”
What will WhatsApp / Facebook / Instagram do with my data? Is it worth that?
You may have noticed the desire illustrated above. The general opinion of a considerable number of people on this subject is that since we are “people who are too insignificant and small to need their data”, there will be no harm .
Because, it is thought that the people who are in pursuit should only be “important, powerful, rich” people.
Than it is useful to ask:
Who are these people whose data is worth collecting and how many can they be? Do these people use WhatsApp or Instagram? If we are so worthless, why is the desire of these huge companies for our data arise?
In fact, what is omitted is that the aforementioned handful of Strong People need our knowledge in order to be strong.
I understand, everyone has Cem Yılmaz’s famous joke of the man who manages to barbecue. However, the truth is not that humorous.
The data collected so far has already been collected, other alternatives are also collecting; so it doesn’t matter
First of all, I have to point out that if you are using Facebook and Instagram and intend to continue using it, my advise is Plese don’t waste your time to read this article. Swallow the red pill in the image and continue.
Entrusting your data to Facebook is equivalent to leaving the responibility of a lamb to a wolf.
Even if other alternative communication platforms receive your data, it is not easy for them to process and create a profile from it as they wish. The best company that can do a work of this scale is Facebook.
“What will they analayse from the messages I send to my child /friend /plumber etc. ? “
You may have already heard that they use data about you to create a profile of you. This is true (although it may sound like science fiction to some).
So when you get angry with your daughter for her new shoe or support the x association to help her fair, you create data for your own shadow profile.
From every action you make, they learn how you live, your income, personality, culture, worldview, dreams, etc. Thus, as soon as you see the ads of the products you are interested on will come to the screen.
They know that you are searching the internet and consulting someone while deciding on a product. They add so-called independent blog posts, comments, and advertorials to these places where you will look for products that you want to buy anyway.
In this case, even if you try to turn left and right like a mouse, you are trapped. The world created for you contains only what you have to see.
I have the pictures and videos of my child /cat /uncle etc. what if they bought it?
Unfortunately this is a serious issue for Facebook / Instagram and now WhatsApp. Having your family and personal data on social media platforms will be the worst legacy you can leave for your children.
That is, they can use your images and videos to sample. In other words, they can transcribe your speech on your own phone and get it as metadata from there.
In the near future, those profiles can be created to understand your relationship with money. From your locations and spending data in the videos you shot, and tomorrow when you apply for a loan from a bank. They may say “You are not capable to use the money and we cannot give you a loan.”
Or, they can make an inference about your life from the videos you take in your family or friends environment and rate you and your social circle. This may be a criterion for future recruitment.
They can even manipulate you or your child while choosing the person to spend their life with. They can download the most suitable people from your old photos, videos, messages, conversations, and purchases to your screen.
What should we do now?
First of all, I recommend closing your WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram account, and then installing the software for Signal and Telegram (I recommend it because this software is popular, not because it is safe). The Whatsapp groups have already started to leave, and you should start using other platforms immediately.
Add your family and friends to new software in the first place. Then you can move your small groups there.
Increase your usage on other platforms as much as possible until February and remove and delete Whatsapp software from your phone as of February 1.
If you are worried about your old posts, pictures and files, there are a few software examples for this, with which you can transfer your old messages.
But there is an issue here that I fear being misunderstood. I do not prefer Telegram software. I recommend it only because I think it is more preferred if you compare it with WhatsApp of Facebook.
As I said, Telegram does not seem dangerous right now, but if Microsoft or Amazon buys it in the future, it will be inevitable to leave it as well.
Signal is currently the only software that is 100% secure. We can be sure that they cannot steal personal data, and that encryption is point-to-point. Because it is an independent and open source platform. You can check all of these on the internet signal website.
The local solutions used in Turkey, why not?
We see that Turkey has an application which is called BIP for instant messaging. My personal opinion is that if a useful and healthy result is to be achieved, the best strategy would be for Turkcell or another well-meaning service provider to fork signal.org software and share this software open source.
I would recommend software from any operator that will do this.
Turkcell CEO just announced(from Linkedin) that their software is downloaded million times and ….[marketing phrases]. I made the same suggestion to him.
“Make it opensource, integrate to signal, become a global player on Instant messaging, compete with Telegram”
you can reach the linkedin post from here.
By collecting our data, they can do and do whatever they want with the profiles they have created for us. This is one aspect of the job. The more up-to-date and dangerous aspect is that our instant data can be shared with everyone who has power and money, and this will be legal.
In the past, it was forbidden to share the information about whom, where and what they were talking to on Whatsapp. For this, your data could not be used by your competitors, for example, who were after your trade secrets. Because if proven, the company that provided the data had to pay heavily compensation.
In the new case, the profile to be created for you will also contain your most confidential information that you have provided via WhatsApp. In other words, it will be possible for them to sell it by creating a profile such as what you are angry with, what you love, what you are affected by while making a decision.
We should analyze the spirit of the times well and not confuse slavery with so-called “internet literacy”.
Like a smart person told before “Make decisions via questioning everything”