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Thread: Whatsapp - security for typing?

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Whatsapp - security for typing?

    Lo people

    I'v just sent a message to my mate about something we've never dicsussed, something that I haven't discussed or searched for on my android mobile. It's a fairly odd item and therefore is unlikely to be run of the mill advertising.

    2 minutes later I was using an app with adverts and the advert proffered was for that exact item. It's a fairly new phone (end of May) and I haven't purchased the item in question for 2 years/

    Bear in mind I don't use Facebook on this phone at all, (Facebook own Whatsapp and recently applied for the chance to snoop into the content of secured Whatsapp messages for advertising purposes)

    So the question is... is there any chance my keyboard software ( default android) used the words to assist with targetted marketing? I thought I had it pretty well sewn down tbh. No tracking, no location etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
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    Senior Member spacein_vader's Avatar
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    Re: Whatsapp - security for typing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    Lo people

    I'v just sent a message to my mate about something we've never dicsussed, something that I haven't discussed or searched for on my android mobile. It's a fairly odd item and therefore is unlikely to be run of the mill advertising.

    2 minutes later I was using an app with adverts and the advert proffered was for that exact item. It's a fairly new phone (end of May) and I haven't purchased the item in question for 2 years/

    Bear in mind I don't use Facebook on this phone at all, (Facebook own Whatsapp and recently applied for the chance to snoop into the content of secured Whatsapp messages for advertising purposes)

    So the question is... is there any chance my keyboard software ( default android) used the words to assist with targetted marketing? I thought I had it pretty well sewn down tbh. No tracking, no location etc.
    I wouldn't bet against it. Not sure if there's a non slurping keyboard in the app store though.

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: Whatsapp - security for typing?

    I think it did snoop and the level of snooping is getting silly.

    I'm 99% sure it listens with the mic, decodes with their speech recognition and targets adds from what you have been talking about.....so a keyboard snoop seems HIGHLY likely.
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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: Whatsapp - security for typing?

    depressing, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Admin Saracen's Avatar
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    Re: Whatsapp - security for typing?

    Well, I have been harping on about tech companies, smartphones and privacy for quite a while (years) now - usually to a chorus of tinfoil hat remarks.

    Fact is, MOST of these companies are at it, and the giveaway is always to carefully read their T&C's and privacy policy but, absolutely critical is not to read it with the mindset of "what does it appear to say", because the are phrased to appear as innocupus as possible.

    Instead, the mindset you need is "As a company's attorney, how can I word this to appear harmless yet still allow me to convince His/Her Honor that we're given permission to do whatever we're up to, if we end up getting sued".

    There are a lot of common tricks. One is in the "What we do with your data" section, to list several (could be three, could be a dozen" perfectly reasonable and innocent uses, but tacked on the end, like an afterthought, is "anything else we decide, from time to time, is needed".

    In fact, the afterthought is the primary purpose and the rest is a lullaby to put usets to sleep.

    Now, as a non-smartphone owner, I'm no expert on individual companies and what they get up to. Just bear in mind, bthere's a reason I don't have a smartphone. If I could get one, even at substsntial expense, that was certain to be secure from prying eyes (or text scanners) I'd look again. But there isn't, at least in the consumer market.


    Meantime, have a read of this ... recent BBC article
    Noli nothis permittere te terere.


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    Re: Whatsapp - security for typing?

    Thing is, Facebook and Google are effectively advertising agencies - or at least advertising brokers. In Google’s case it is what pays for their such engine, but the search data itself is used for profiling.

    Facebook and Twitter are also Ad driven and use that profile to selectively target adverts.

    HEXUS also displays adverts, but they are generic - everyone sees the same advert, so (afaik) no personal data is used for profiling.

    Interesting to read that Apple are incorporating tools to block data tracking - and again (afaik) Apple don’t sell advertising services, but you pay a premium for their products whichalong with other services is how they make their money.

    Interestingly, duckduckgo say they can make a profit from their search engine without data profiling - I’m using that as my default search engine as a trial my phone. So far it seems every bit as good as Google.
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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: Whatsapp - security for typing?

    Any time I get a new phone or set one up for a friend, I spend a fair bit of time trawling through the menus opting-out of as much of that as possible. I don't doubt there's some that can't be opted out of, but I do my best. Google themselves make it about as awkward as possible with options scattered all over the place, often in completely bizarre places. Some system-wide location settings are in the Maps app, some are in the Google settings thing, some are done in a web browser to change account settings. It's really not user-friendly at all and it seems like they just re-word what the settings do and change them back to default (on).

    WRT the OP - was it a niche item you were talking about or something fairly common? Also, what keyboard app are you using, and have you explored its settings carefully? Also, what sort of ad was it? If it was a Google one, have you disabled targeted advertising on Google?

    If you look in the app store you can find 'ad detector' apps (I don't think the one I used to use is still around but there are others that do the same thing) which tell you what ad networks each installed app uses.

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