22 June, 2021

Reapers Of The Intimate Word

How secure is the data we splurge on WhatsApp? Third parties can get hold of your number, and research reveals chinks in the ­protection of public group chats.

The Zuck Stops Here
The Facebook founder testifies before a US Senate committee on April 10
Photograph by Getty Images
Reapers Of The Intimate Word
  • Anna Eshoo, Congresswoman: “Was your data included in the data sold to the malicious third parties, your personal data?”
  • Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook and Owner of WhatsApp: “Yes.”


We are all on WhatsApp. We send our ATM PINs to our children, bank passwords to our husbands, property papers to brokers, PAN cards to our CAs, front and back of our passports as proof of residence to get gas connections, personal photos and videos to our family group, business strategies and marketing plans to our office groups, dirty jokes to college buddies. Intelligence agencies, police departments and military personnel are known to be interacting on this messenger service. Practically, our whole lives, warts and all, are on WhatsApp.

What if all this can be spied on? It’s our entire life ­history, after all, that’s out there. How safe is it on WhatsApp? Have you ever imagined your bank opening your locker and selling off your valuables?...

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