Rob Heaton, Stripe engineer, wrote a story on his blog about two friends who during a charity walk up decide to found a startup. They get the idea while walking and it is about WhatsApp.
The story of a stalker
The story published by Heaton is about a character which sets up a Chrome web app. This app tracks every ten minutes a specific WhatsApp user’s status to see if that person has had enough sleep. While continuously checking the app, he realizes through the user’s status that he was staying up until late. The creep also realizes that he only need phone numbers to stalk any person he likes. If that person ahs WhatsApp installed and their status is always available, then he can track them down and learn their patterns.
However, this only works for those who access WhatsApp frequently and did not change their privacy settings. However, the instant messaging app shows when users are or are not online.
Why is the story relevant?
Some might think why this story is so relevant so as to write about it. It is relevant because it shows how fragile technology users are. It also makes us understand that private settings for all social networking apps should be private by default. Users should not have their information revealed if they do not want to.
To change your WhatsApp settings to private from your iPhone head to Settings>Account>Privacy; to change your WhatsApp setting to private from your Android device head to Settings>Account>Privacy from the menu button.
The instant messaging service WhatsApp has been bought by Facebook back in 2014 for 16 billion $ and since then it adopted the Open Whisper Systems encryption protocol. This protocol makes messages content private, even from Facebook.