By CAPosts 17 January, 2021 - 09:07am 101 views
“ We all know that Facebook lives off our data, this is how we pay for their supposedly free services. But there has to be a limit. If we find ourselves in a position where Facebook says 'I'll keep everything I can', and we accept, what does that say about us and the value we place on our own privacy ”, asks Zak Doffman, journalist specialized in cybersecurity in his Forbes article , where he explains why we should stop using this app.
According to a review, due to an unfortunate series of events (poorly managed public relations and very bad communication), the WhatsApp debacle that has caused these days That thousands of users have migrated to Signal or Telegram, has distracted attention from how serious the invasion of privacy exercised by Facebook Messenger is.
explains that Whastapp's main defense when discussing its privacy policies is that it cannot see private messages. But if you're a Messenger user, he warns, you're not so lucky…
claims that a perfect illustration of Facebook Messenger's scant respect for privacy came to light when cybersecurity researchers Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakr revealed a year ago that the app was downloading private attachments sent between users to its own servers, as well as links to shared files and websites. "The problem of Messenger accessing your private information is easily solved, that's what end-to-end encryption is all about," says Doffman, hinting that what isn't there is will.
Unlike WhatsApp, end-to-end encryption extreme in Messenger only supports private messages between two people, not within groups, and it is not activated by default. When the option is selected, Facebook stops snooping through messages and downloading links and attachments.
“It's this lack of end-to-end encryption that makes Messenger useless for me. This should be the default for whatever messaging platform you use. Facebook itself has warned of the risks involved in the lack of this type of encryption, and WhatsApp deserves great recognition for having universalized access, making end-to-end encryption available to 2 billion users, ”says Doffman.
Based on their analysis, end-to-end encryption shouldn't be taken for granted - the fact that we can call and send messages from anywhere in the world, safe from government network probes and bad actors, it is a big advantage. "One of the ironies of WhatsApp's reaction is that users are leaving this app, which is encrypted end-to-end by default, for Telegram, which is not," he warns.
This, he says, puts it back in the focus on Facebook practices. Remember that in 2019, Mark Zuckerberg argued that private messaging would become the new normal, replacing the social need to share everything, everywhere. This followed early reports about Facebook's plans to integrate WhatsApp with Messenger and Instagram DMs, creating a messaging giant serving nearly 3 billion users.
At the time, there were reports that Messenger would convert. in an end-to-end encryption system, which was a significant improvement. “But two years later, we have not seen any tangible progress. However, what we have seen is the beginning of that integration, beginning with Messenger and Instagram, with no security improvements in sight, ”he accuses.
Last year, Facebook stated that it was“ still very committed to making Messenger encrypted from end-to-end by default ”. In fact, Jay Sullivan of Facebook assured the Senate committee in 2019 that "people should be able to communicate securely and privately with their friends and loved ones without anyone, including Facebook, listening to or monitoring their conversations." He also said that users should be able to submit medical and financial information "with the confidence that it will not fall into the hands of identity thieves or others with malicious intent." But, Forbes warns, Messenger monitors content, and "health and fitness," "sensitive information," and "financial information" are among the mass of user data fields that it admits to collecting through its Messenger platform.
Adding end-to-end encryption would have been something of a saving grace for Messenger, as it would prevent content from being monitored, collected, and processed, although it would not protect metadata. But the WhatsApp affair has made millions of people realize that content encryption is not enough on its own.
“ Facebook practices are now visible to all, they are not buried in the fine print of politics Of privacy. We can all see the ridiculous difference between Messenger and other platforms , although we still have to understand how that metadata is monetized and used to target us with ads, "he says.
Doffman is blunt: " The advice now is simple. If you're still on Messenger or if you're using Instagram DMs for anything other than casual contacts, then it's time to switch. The easiest option is still WhatsApp. If you want a more secure option, then run Signal in parallel. It will be more useful as more contacts join. ”
For Forbes , with WhatsApp and Signal running in parallel, you'll be covered in terms of security and privacy. And he adds that, over time, it will end up using Signal as the default option, but for that it is necessary that all your contacts also use it.
Finally, it recommends moving all your chats and groups from Facebook Messenger to WhatsApp or Signal. "You should do it now," he warns.
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