In those years things started happening. Privacy protection was diminished step by step, usually without any form of information. Secondly, Facebook started asking for more and more information (“Please enter your phone number for security reasons“). And finally, the things that can be done with this (and other) information is getting to the “oh hell, that’s creepy” levels:
- There is software that will quite accurately predict from someone’s friends and likes what their sexual orientation is…
- Combining information from Facebook and location sharing software such as 4square allows you to walk up to someone you see in the street / pub and knowing everything about them they put online. The perfect tool for any confidence trickster…
- Amazon is now doing tests on altering the prices of their products based on what they (or better, their software) thinks you would be happy to pay for it; recently ordered a top-of-the-range wide screen television? Expect to be paying a few Euro’s more for the Blu-rays to watch on it…
And then Facebook bought Whatsapp. My favorite chat-as-you’re-waiting-for-the-train-application. Which does contain my phone number. And stores every conversation I’ve been having with my friends over it.
I haven’t trusted Facebook for quite a while. And now I don’t trust Whatsapp anymore.
So it’s time to move on. To move away even.
Thus, as of the 7th of March I’m deleting both my Facebook and Whatsapp accounts.
I’ve also already installed an alternative for Whatsapp. After prompting and some own research I ended up with Telegram. It’s not perfect, but it definitely is far better security / privacy wise: Open source, run by an non-profit, ability to have messages deleted after a certain period and the possibility to encrypt messages. If you want to message with me while I’m waiting for the train, this will be the way to do it. Of course you can also still send me e-mails, or even call me!
Enjoy your privacy. While it lasts!
In case you don’t know what to think about privacy, this XKCD comic.