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Google, WhatsApp, Facebook spying on users: Avast

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Google, WhatsApp, Facebook spying on users: Avast.

Cyber-security firm Avast has said that Google, WhatsApp and Facebook spy on their users to find out their interest for serving tarted advertisements.

New Delhi, INDIA | PTI / TOI | Red Newswire | Oct 28, 2015, 11.56 PM IST.
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Image: DigitalSynopsis

Cybersecurity firm Avast has said that Google, WhatsApp and Facebook spy on their users to find out their interest for serving targeted advertisements, but their users are well aware about this.

“Google is an advertising company. Google revenue is basically from AdWords. Spying on users, getting what they are interested in and serving them advertisement is what their business model is. There is nothing inherent wrong with it. Users know what’s going on, I think,” Avast CEO Vincent Steckler said.

He was talking on the sidelines of release of Avast findings on cybersecurity issues and unveiling of anti-theft mobile security software.

Steckler added that WhatsApp too breaches data privacy of users.

“Did you ask all of your friends and colleague to share their personal and private information with Facebook. That’s another biggest user of privacy. WhatsApp is a data collector to serve you advertising inside Facebook … you get advertisement on Facebook based on conversation you had on WhatsApp,” Steckler said.

When asked for comments, a Google spokesperson said, “As a policy, we cannot comment on this without looking at specific report.”

The privacy policy page of Google says, “When you use our services, you trust us with your information. Data enables us to provide our services like Search, Gmail, and Maps. Data also helps us show relevant ads, so we can make our services free for everyone.”

No comments were received from Facebook on the issue.

Steckler said that users also breach privacy of their acquaintances by sharing contact details to use applications on mobile phones.

“In order to use WhatsApp, you have to share your entire contact database, which means you provided all your friends and colleagues contact details to Facebook. Do you have right to do that?”, Steckler said.

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