Online security: uninstalling apps or blocking services?

Needless to say that user freedom is over, or does it only seem to us, and what is the reason for the introduction of restrictions at any level?

KM.RU was told about this by the CEO of 101domain Denis Rotanov.

The issue of choice and its limitations is one of the key topics that are now being discussed by both ordinary people and experts. WhatsApp messenger left us no options when updating the user agreement – accept or delete the application. The Russian regulator restricts Twitter, and it’s time to think about its prospects in Russia. In Turkey, the Internet Regulation Law introduced the requirement to open offices of popular Internet resources.

On January 4, 2021, the most popular messenger WhatsApp – it has been in this status since 2015 – updated its user agreement. The concern of users was caused by the question: will information about them be transferred to the social network Facebook, which owns the application since 2014?

The service representatives emphasized: no additional data will be transferred to the owner company, all changes will affect only business pages and the use of payment services.

Those who have been following the development of WhatsApp for a long time and following the discussion of security issues know that claims regarding the security of use and the presence of vulnerabilities that can lead to a leak have repeatedly arisen against the service.

One of the most high-profile investigations was carried out by the governments of Canada and the Netherlands – then it was revealed that WhatsApp itself violates privacy.

After installing the application, all address book data is copied to the company’s servers in order to inform who else from the contacts is using the application. But at the same time, the data of those who did not install this messenger for themselves are also copied.

It is known that WhatsApp has been collecting data about users for a long time and transfers it to Facebook for commercial purposes. From the moment of purchasing the application, the owner receives user data, their contacts, data about the addressee, the time of sending and reading messages, the geolocation of the device, etc. The messages themselves are analyzed for the presence of certain combinations of words in order to use this data by advertisers.

This is already a lot, but the specialists of the scientific and technical center of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Main Radio Frequency Center” in their research indicate that in fact the service has much more opportunities for collecting data.

Indeed, most often we not only send text messages, but also record audio – for this we provide access to the microphone, video – we allow the camera to shoot, send pictures and files – open the storage to the application. All this gives the possibility of unlimited access to the user’s device, and also, according to experts, theoretically makes it possible to record audio and video at any time without the user’s consent.

I note that WhatsApp – an American company with more than two billion users worldwide – is obliged to provide all data and encryption keys at the request of the American intelligence services. This is the law.

Of course, we can say that ordinary users have nothing to hide. But the new user agreement and the gluing of various services from Facebook, which now belong to it, allows not only to get a unique portrait of each of us, but also, based on the analysis of artificial intelligence, to influence our sensitive triggers.

The danger of manipulating consciousness is a threat that now lies in any Internet resources, but especially in social networks. After all, there is a lot of information in the free access, incl. and illegal. Yes, on the basis of the new law, which came into force in February 2021, it should be removed (significant fines are provided for resources), but it is not always possible to reach the site administration.

Twitter – a law-abiding service in its homeland in the United States and even in Turkey, where it had to open an official representative office in accordance with the new law – in Russia ignores the requirements of Roskomnadzor to remove publications related to child pornography, distribution of prohibited substances, offensive content, etc. etc.

Since 2017, the regulator has filed more than 28 thousand removal requests that have been ignored. Roskomnadzor notes that only the use of technical measures to enforce the execution of Russian laws forced the American social network to recognize the presence on its platform of information that is an absolute evil in all countries of the world, and to take measures to remove it.

So which choice: uninstalling apps or blocking services?

On the one hand, users are unilaterally obliged to agree with the requirements of applications to provide unlimited information about themselves and, in theory, to fall under their information influence, but on the other hand, they turn out to be defenseless when they already need protection by the administration of sites from unwanted content.

Everyone makes the choice himself.

Author: Denis Rotanov

Read also:

Andrey Parshev: “A modern person is concerned about the secrecy of personal data”

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