Apps are tracking WhatsApp users’ online activity, including whom they’re likely talking to and when they’re sleeping

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Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from executive editor Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.

Read on for news about the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, WhatsApp-tracking apps that are letting people figure out when you’re sleeping, how home-listing site Zumper weeded out thousands of Section 8 renters, and a toxic culture in Yelp’s Phoenix office. 

Hello!

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is likely to make intense political polarization in the US even more severe.

Ginsburg’s death opened up a vacancy on the Supreme Court that President Trump said he will fill as quickly as possible. But a new national survey from Insider found that most respondents disagree with the plan to fill the seat as soon as possible. You can get the latest on the response to Ginsburg’s death right here.

I started last week’s email by recounting when I first heard about Facebook. My first experience with Whatsapp came later.

As many of my friends and relatives moved overseas in the 2010s, it became my primary method of communication with many. And now, while I barely ever open Facebook, I’m constantly turning to Whatsapp. 

Part of the appeal has been its approach to privacy. But as we reported this week, that may not be everything it seems. 

From Rob Price:

WhatsApp prides itself on its approach to privacy.

But the user data that the Facebook-owned messaging app shares publicly is allowing dozens of outside apps to track aspects of WhatsApp users’ online activity — including whom they’re likely talking to, when they’re sleeping, and when they’re using their devices. 

These apps and services use the “online” signaling feature within WhatsApp to enable their users to monitor the digital habits of anyone using WhatsApp without their knowledge or consent, Business Insider has found.

These intrusive apps highlight how even services that strongly protect users’ privacy in some ways — like WhatsApp’s commitment to encryption — can still expose data that can be used to track their users.

Read the story in full here:

WhatsApp-tracking apps are letting people figure out when you’re sleeping and who you’re talking to on the Facebook-owned app

Related:

Instagram is building a messaging API to help brands manage their DMs with users

Influencers see big differences between Instagram’s Reels and TikTok in audience, style, and money-making potential

How home-listing site Zumper weeded out thousands of Section 8 renters

From Dan Geiger:

Sharon Whitley was searching for an apartment in Chicago last summer when she stumbled onto the listings site Zumper, a San Francisco startup that has raised $150 million from big-name backers to compete with listings giants such as Zillow and Trulia.

A single mother of three, she said she had relied since the mid-1990s on the federal government’s Section 8 voucher program, which provides her a $1,000-a-month subsidy toward the cost of her rent. Without the aid, she said, she wouldn’t be able to afford an apartment.

Whitley said she submitted her information to listings …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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