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Found 6 results

  1. WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton expressed outrage at Facebook’s privacy policies last month by tweeting “It is time. #deletefacebook.” But WhatsApp’s Facebook-like group chat features also have design flaws that jeopardize user privacy. Maybe it’s also time to #DeleteWhatsApp. WhatsApp differentiates itself from parent company Facebook by touting its end-to-end encryption. “Some of your most personal moments are shared with WhatsApp,” the company writes on its website, so “your messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, and calls are secured from falling into the wrong hands.” But WhatsApp members may not be aware that when using the app’s Group Chat feature, their data can be harvested by anyone in the group. What is worse, their mobile numbers can be used to identify and target them. WhatsApp groups are designed to enable groups of up to 256 people to join a shared chat without having to go through a central administrator. Group originators can add contacts from their phones or create links enabling anyone to opt-in. These groups, which can be found through web searches, discuss topics as diverse as agriculture, politics, pornography, sports, and technology. Not all groups have links, but in those that do, anyone who finds the link can join the group. While all new joining members are announced to the group, they are not required to provide a name or otherwise identify themselves. This design could leave inattentive members open to targeting, as a new report from European researchers shows. The researchers demonstrated that a tech-savvy person can easily obtain treasure troves of data from WhatsApp groups by using nothing more than an old Samsung smartphone running scripts and off-the-shelf applications. This is not a security breach — the app is working exactly as designed. Kiran Garimella, of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland sent me a draft of a paper he coauthored with Gareth Tyson, of Queen Mary University, U.K. titled “WhatsApp, doc? A first look at WhatsApp public group data.” It details how they were able to obtain data from nearly half a million messages exchanged between 45,794 WhatsApp users in 178 public groups over a six-month period, including their mobile numbers and any images, videos, and web links they had shared. The groups had titles such as “funny”, “love vs. life”, “XXX”, “nude”, and “box office movies”, as well as the names of political parties and sports teams. The researchers obtained lists of public WhatsApp groups through web searches and used a browser automation tool to join a few of the roughly 2,000 groups they found — a process requiring little human intervention and easily applicable to a larger set of groups. Their smartphone began to receive large streams of messages, which WhatsApp stored in a local database. The data are encrypted, but the cipher key is stored inside the RAM of the mobile device itself. This allowed the researchers to decrypt the data using a technique developed by Indian researchers L.P. Gudipaty and K.Y. Jhala. Note: The method Garimella and Tyson used only allowed them to access data posted to each of the groups after they’d joined them; they weren’t able to access any earlier data posted in the groups. The researchers’ goal was to determine how WhatsApp could be used for social-science research (they plan to make their dataset and tools publicly available after they anonymize the data). But their paper demonstrates how easily marketers, hackers, and governments can take advantage of the WhatsApp platform — with no contractual restraints and for almost no cost. This can have a much darker side. The New York Times recently published a story on the Chinese Government’s detention of human-rights activist Zhang Guanghong after monitoring a WhatsApp group of Guanghong’s friends, with whom he had shared an article that criticized China’s president. The Times speculated that the government had hacked his phone or had a spy in his group chat; but gathering such information is easy for anyone with a group hyperlink or access to a server. Earlier this year, Wired reported that researchers from Ruhr-University Bochum, in Germany, found a series of flaws in encrypted messaging applications that enable anyone who controls a WhatsApp server to “effortlessly insert new people into an otherwise private group, even without the permission of the administrator who ostensibly controls access to that conversation.” Gaining access to a computer server requires sophisticated hacking skills or the type of access only governments can gain. But as Wired wrote, “the premise of so-called end-to-end encryption has always been that even a compromised server shouldn’t expose secrets.” Researcher Paul Rösler reportedly said, “The confidentiality of the group is broken as soon as the uninvited member can obtain all the new messages and read them. … If I hear there’s end-to-end encryption for both groups and two-party communications, that means adding of new members should be protected against. And if not, the value of encryption is very little.” Facebook and its family of companies are being much too casual about privacy, as we have seen from the Cambridge Analytica revelations, harming freedom and democracy. They need to be held to higher standards. Editor’s note: VentureBeat reached out to WhatsApp regarding the researchers’ findings, but the company did not provide a statement. Vivek Wadhwa is Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University Engineering at Silicon Valley and author of The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future. Source
  2. ICO probe: No legal basis for Facebook slurps WhatsApp has agreed not to share users' data with parent biz Facebook after failing to demonstrate a legal basis for the ad-fuelling data slurp in the EU. The move comes after a years-long battle between the biz and European data protection agencies, which argued that changes to WhatsApp's small print hadn't been properly communicated and didn't comply with EU law. An investigation by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, which reported today, confirmed the biz has failed to identity a legal basis for sharing personal data in a way that would benefit Facebook's business. Moreover, any such sharing would have been in breach of the Data Protection Act. In response, WhatsApp has agreed to sign an undertaking (PDF) in which it commits not to share any EU user data to any other Facebook-owned company until it can comply with the incoming General Data Protection Regulation. The ICO celebrated the deal as a "win for the data protection of UK customers" – a statement that Paul Bernal, IP and internet law expert at the University of East Anglia, said he agreed with only up to a point. "This is indeed a 'win', but a limited one," he told The Register. "It's only a commitment until they believe they've worked out how to comply with the GDPR – and I suspect they'll be working hard to find a way to do that to the letter rather than to the spirit of the GDPR." Using consent as the lawful basis? No dice At the heart of the issue is consent. In summer 2016, a privacy policy update said that, although it would continue to operate as a separate service, WhatsApp planned to share some account information, including phone numbers, with Facebook for targeted advertising, business analysis and system security. Although users could withhold consent for targeted advertising, they could not for the other two purposes – any users that didn't like the terms would have to stop using WhatsApp. The EU data protection bodies have previously said that this "like it or lump it" approach to service use doesn't constitute freely given consent – as required by EU rules. Similarly, they felt that WhatsApp's use of pre-ticked boxes was not "unambiguous" and that the information provided to users was "insufficiently specific". The ICO has also noted that matching account data might lead to "privacy policy creep", with further uses of data slipping into the Ts&Cs unnoticed by users. The investigation – which looked only at situations where WhatsApp wanted to share information with Facebook for business interests, not service support – confirmed concerns that the policy wasn't up to scratch. Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham said WhatsApp had not identified a lawful basis for processing, or given users "adequate fair processing information" about any such sharing. "In relation to existing users, such sharing would involve the processing of personal data for a purpose that is incompatible with the purpose for which such data was obtained," she said. She added that if the data had been shared, the firm "would have been in contravention of the first and second data protection principles" of the UK's Data Protection Act. WhatsApp has maintained that it hasn't shared any personal data with Facebook in the EU, but in a letter to the biz's general counsel Anne Hoge, Denham indicated that this had not been made clear at the outset. Denham wrote that the initial letter from WhatApp had only stated data sharing was paused for targeted ads. It was, she said, "a fair assumption for me to make" that WhatsApp may have shared data for the other two purposes, "but have at some point since that letter decided to pause" this too. However, she said that since WhatsApp has "assured" the ICO that "no UK user data has ever been shared with Facebook", she could not issue the biz with a civil monetary penalty and had to ask WhatsApp to sign the undertaking instead. Next up: Legitimate interests Denham's letter makes it clear that the companies will be working to make sure that data sharing can go ahead in a lawful way, particularly for system security purposes, for which it may consider using the "legitimate interests" processing condition. She noted that there would be "a range" of legitimate interests – such as fighting spam or for business analytics – but that in all cases it would need to show that processing was necessary to achieve it, and balance it against individuals' rights. Bernal said that if the biz had any plans to use the consent condition for processing, it "will need huge scrutiny". "It's almost impossible for most users to understand what they're really consenting to," he said. "And if ordinary users can't understand, how can they consent?" Jon Baines, data protection adviser at Mishcon de Reya, also noted that the fact WhatsApp had held its ground on what he described as a "key point" could put the ICO in a difficult position down the line. "It's very interesting that the ICO is classing this as a 'win', because – although on the surface it seems like a success – it's notable that WhatsApp have reserved their position on a key point, which is whether the processing in question falls under the UK's remit by virtue of the fact that it takes place in the UK on users' devices," he said. "Normally the effect of an informal undertaking will be to encourage a data controller voluntarily to take or cease action, to avoid the need for legal enforcement which would otherwise be available. "Here, should WhatsApp subsequently fail to perform the undertaking, the ICO might be compromised if there is no clear basis on which it can follow up with enforcement action." In a statement sent to The Register, WhatsApp emphasised the pause it had put on data sharing. "As we've repeatedly made clear for the last year we are not sharing data in the ways that the UK Information Commissioner has said she is concerned about anywhere in Europe." It added that it "cares deeply" about users' privacy and that "every message is end-to-end encrypted". Source
  3. Hello Gents, Press K (kick up my butt), if you reckon, I'm too unaware.. but I have my excuses- busy with work etc, so: (fed up having so many apps, conflicting contact issues etc), wonder, if somebody would have new (better) suggestions? Skype had it's glory days, but is too big, too unsafe, too much data FB Messenger is sort of "must", due to social interactions Like Telegram, but ever so few other users, also, it is not 100% as secure no more, What'sApp is OK, as there are some old contacts, sometimes handy, bhuuuttt Duo google product, expect to be failures, as per usual Hangouts- OK, just not sure if worth keeping it, as other apps-client do the same Thanks!
  4. WhatsApp has launched a separate app designed for use by small businesses to more easily connect with customers. WhatsApp Business adds key features like dedicated business profiles for details like email address, business description, store addresses, and website; smart messaging tools like greetings, quick replies, and away messages; and metrics for how many messages were sent, delivered, and read. For those who use a business number and a personal one, both the WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger apps can be used on the same device and registered with your different numbers. WhatsApp Business is also compatible with WhatsApp Web, the app’s desktop web browser client. The quick replies feature Business accounts will be clearly listed as such. WhatsApp says over time, businesses that have confirmed their account phone number matches their business one will receive a confirmation badge on their profile. That’s similar to WhatsApp adding green verification badges to select business accounts last year in the standard app. WhatsApp says other users can continue to use the standard app as usual and will still have full control over the messages they receive like blocking numbers and reporting spam. WhatsApp Business is free and available to download now for Android users, though there’s no mention of an iOS release yet. WhatsApp Business is currently available in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the US, with a global rollout scheduled in the coming weeks. The Verge.com
  5. WhatsApp Messenger v2.17.397 Requirements: 4.0.3+ Overview: WhatsApp Messenger is a messaging app available for Android and other smartphones. WhatsApp uses your phone’s Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fi, as available) to message and call friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, calls, photos, videos, and Voice Messages. First year FREE!* (WhatsApp may charge thereafter, current price is $0.99 USD/year). WHY USE WHATSAPP: • NO ADDITIONAL FEES: WhatsApp uses your phone’s Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fi, as available) to message and call friends and family, so you don’t have to pay for every message or call.* • MULTIMEDIA: Send and receive photos, videos, and Voice Messages. • WHATSAPP CALLING: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes.* (Note: you can’t access 911 and other emergency service numbers through WhatsApp). • GROUP CHAT: Enjoy group chats with your contacts so you can easily stay in touch with your friends or family. • WHATSAPP WEB: You can also send and receive WhatsApp messages right from your computer’s browser. • NO INTERNATIONAL CHARGES: There’s no extra charge to send WhatsApp messages internationally. Chat with your friends around the world and avoid international SMS charges.* • SAY NO TO USERNAMES AND PINS: Why bother having to remember yet another username or PIN? WhatsApp works with your phone number, just like SMS, and integrates seamlessly with your phone’s existing address book. • ALWAYS LOGGED IN: With WhatsApp, you’re always logged in so you don’t miss messages. No more confusion about whether you’re logged in or logged out. • QUICKLY CONNECT WITH YOUR CONTACTS: Your address book is used to quickly and easily connect you with your contacts who have WhatsApp so there’s no need to add hard-to-remember usernames. • OFFLINE MESSAGES: Even if you miss your notifications or turn off your phone, WhatsApp will save your recent messages until the next time you use the app. • AND MUCH MORE: Share your location, exchange contacts, set custom wallpapers and notification sounds, email chat history, broadcast messages to multiple contacts at once, and more! WHAT'S NEW • You can once again set a text-only update in your profile and it's called About. Tap Settings and then your profile name to edit it. Thanks for the feedback! • Search for the perfect animated GIF right from within WhatsApp. Tap the emoji button in a chat and then tap GIF at the bottom of the emoji panel to get started. This app has no advertisements https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsapp Download:
  6. TextNow Dedicated Virtual Mobile Phone Number (USA) & Unlimited Free International Call to USA/Canada - UK Landline + Ability to Use Whatsapp Without SIM Card How is TextNow different from Whatsapp and Viber ? App Highlights Free Landline & Mobile call to USA/Canada (Tested to USA both Landline and mobile numbers) Free Landline to UK (Tested by myself) Sending Free SMS depending of the Country Zone... Receiving Verification Code: Currently Google & Microsoft Account verification code not working myself. Instruction: Signup for free during registration when you asked area code enter: 208 (That is the area code I can only get Whatsapp recognize the Phone Number) I got 2 Free USA Mobile Phone Number: (734) Whats up does not accept as a valid USA Number --> Got the number when ı enter Area cone 734 (208) Accepted number --> Have that number when I enter 555 during Area Code selection. Homepage:https://www.textnow.com/ Android:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.enflick.android.TextNow&hl=en iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/textnow-free-text-+-calls/id314716233?mt=8 Windows Phone:https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/textnow/9wzdncrfj38m (Android) TextNow – free text + calls PREMIUM v5.2.0 [Unlocked] Site: http://txt.do Sharecode[?]: /dtu7s ========================================================= How to Use WhatsApp Without Phone Number or SIM Via TextNow Method: In this method to use whatsapp messenger without sim verification, you need to install Textnow app on your android/ iPhone or windows phone. Using the Textnow number, you can install whatsapp without simcard. You need to have internet connectivity over wifi. Download Textnow app for your iPhone/Android/Windows phone. After installation, you will be provided with a Textnow number (when you asked area code enter: 208) We will use this number to run whatsapp without sim card. While setting up the whatsapp account, provide this Textnow number for verification. Then, wait for the Whatsapp sms verification to fail. You will be asked to verify your Whatsapp account via Call. Tap on the Call Me verification method You will get a call for the Textnow number, enter the interactive voice response Whatsapp verification code provided. Voila, you have installed whatsapp without sim using internet. Homepage:https://www.whatsapp.com/ Andrid:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsapp&hl=en iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/tr/app/whatsapp-messenger/id310633997?mt=8
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