I'm sorry

Tags: apps, social networks.
By lucb1e on 2013-05-27 20:20:32 +0100

If you're a friend of mine, I probably leaked your first name, phone number, probably last name, and potentially your home address and email address to a company located on the other side of the world. But odds are that you can't complain because you did the same to me over and over again.

Unlike you though, it's not like I didn't take precautions to prevent your data from leaking. I've tried everything practically possible with my knowledge of Android to protect you, but the malware punched right through it. I don't know how it found the other address book that it was not supposed to find, but somehow it did it.

Before running the software I created a second Android user via the command line and verified that all data was cleaned up. When I opened the default contacts application, there was nothing to find. I then installed a startup manager app and made sure, rebooting a few times without network connectivity, that the software was unable to boot automatically and thus would not launch on my main Android user account.

Having made sure all that, I did what was popularly demanded by lots of friends: Installing Whatsapp. The permission list is longer than my Galaxy Note II's screen is high, and that's quite something, but it seems it's necessary to be friends with a person nowadays, at least when you also don't have Facebook.

I mean Whatsapp is not even useful. Yeah sure it's free, of course it is. Because you are already paying for data. Let me tell you something: It's cheaper to get a plan with unlimited texting. Breaking news guys. You gotta look beyond what they advertise but it's there. And at least texting doesn't cost money.

Yes indeed, another breaking news story! Nobody knows that Whatsapp is actually not free.
Read it: "WhatsApp is free to download and try for the first year. After which, you have the option of subscribing to an additional year of service for $0.99 USD."

You would have known that if you had read their Terms of Service. Which you don't read because they're written with one particular goal: not having users read it but be safe in court when you do something that's practically against the law. "They could have read it in our Terms of Service."

I'm not saying 99 dollarcents is a big deal, but it's still not free. And I'm not even talking about the openness of the platform or its security. They only recently switched to encrypted communications. But back on topic.

It's not like most of you didn't deserve it. Almost all of my family told Facebook exactly who I was, who my friends and family were, and other valuable details like my cellular number and email address. You illegally sent personally identifiable data to a company on another continent and let them blackmail you into doing it. If you don't let them, you can use the Facebook app on your phone, which is annoying for you. It's not like I don't understand it, it's just that it's illegal in the Netherlands. More illegal than downloading movies or music; that is still totally legal. You gave Facebook the explicit permission to do whatever they pleased with info about other people.

It wouldn't be the first time that I repeatedly received spam from Facebook, where spam is defined as "unsolicited messages about goods or services". Not because you wanted them to, but because you let them blackmail you. I suppose my installing Whatsapp makes us slightly more even now. It's only a matter of time before the Whatsapp database gets compromised anyway, their client's security is a laugh as far as I've seen. I wouldn't be surprised when they get hacked. Then your data is suddenly a big deal.

You probably don't think of all this as a problem right now, and it's probably not. But could you at least not include my personal details when you want to install another app?
Another post tagged 'apps': Android, rooting, warranty, Linux and more

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