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  1. crackb3ri's Avatar
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    Default WhatsApp took all my contacts and sent to their servers without asking me

    Installed it tonight and ran. It just asked me if I want to connect to whatsap servers which I allowed and then to my surprise saw all my contacts installed who have the app and their statuses.

    After some digging found that WhatsApp sends all your contact phone numbers to their servers and they check if those phone numbers have WhatsApp installed so you can IM with them.

    To me this is serious privacy concern as now WhatsApp has hundreds of verified phone numbers of my contacts and I didnt even agree to it.

    How can they do that without any warning / disclaimer? How is AppWorld allowing application like this?

    Scary.
  2. trucky's Avatar
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    #2  

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    I'm just guessing here, because I haven't installed that particular app yet, that somewhere in all the legal mumbo jumbo that you agreed to as you installed, there are words saying that you are allowing them to do just that by clicking on Agree.
    Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused.



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  3. crackb3ri's Avatar
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    That is possible but my main concern is how app can access contacts without me giving it adequate permission first? I did not give it a trusted app status when got prompted.
  4. MADBRADNYC's Avatar
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    #4  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crackb3ri View Post
    Installed it tonight and ran. It just asked me if I want to connect to whatsap servers which I allowed and then to my surprise saw all my contacts installed who have the app and their statuses.

    After some digging found that WhatsApp sends all your contact phone numbers to their servers and they check if those phone numbers have WhatsApp installed so you can IM with them.

    To me this is serious privacy concern as now WhatsApp has hundreds of verified phone numbers of my contacts and I didnt even agree to it.

    How can they do that without any warning / disclaimer? How is AppWorld allowing application like this?

    Scary.
    Well. You said it yourself in the first post.
    It just asked me if I want to connect to whatsap servers which I allowed
    Not sure why it took digging to find out that...
    WhatsApp sends all your contact phone numbers to their servers and they check if those phone numbers have WhatsApp installed so you can IM with them.
    It clearly states that on the page description.

    * NO PINS OR USERNAMES. Why even bother having to remember yet another PIN or username? WhatsApp works just like SMS would work via phone numbers and it integrates with your the address book of your device.

    * NO NEED TO ADD BUDDIES. Your Address Book is used to automatically connect you with your contacts. Your friends with WhatsApp will be automatically displayed in Favorites menu.

    Sometimes you need to pay attention to what you're doing and actually read things.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Last edited by MADBRADNYC; 09-13-2011 at 01:05 PM.
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    MissoulaMarinerFan (06-01-2012) 
  5. crackb3ri's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #5  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MADBRADNYC View Post
    Well. You said it yourself in the first post.
    Not sure why it took digging to find out that...
    It clearly states that on the page description.
    Sometimes you need to pay attention to what you're doing and actually read things.
    You are joking me right? You really interpret "Your Address Book is used" meaning "we will send all your contacts to our servers"? To me this is very misleading wording. It could be just me though.... ;-)

    I honestly believe sending phone book data to someone's server should warrant bit more warning and "upfrontiness" IMHO.
  6. MADBRADNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackb3ri View Post
    You are joking me right? You really interpret "Your Address Book is used" meaning "we will send all your contacts to our servers"? To me this is very misleading wording. It could be just me though.... ;-)

    I honestly believe sending phone book data to someone's server should warrant bit more warning and "upfrontiness" IMHO.
    Sigh....
    LoL. Well, you tell us how the application can connect you with other WhatsApp users? The app itself cannot check if "John" in your address book, against who also uses the application. Obviously it would have to cross reference those names in your address book somewhere, correct? The app does not operate in a vacuum. It needs to connect with their servers to do this.

    You are NOT the first to ask about this...
    Maybe even a search of the forums could have informed you prior to download.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Last edited by MADBRADNYC; 09-13-2011 at 02:14 PM.
    Michelle Haag likes this.
  7. whatsapp's Avatar
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    a few notes to clear up here:

    1. first of all, your address book is not saved or stored anywhere on our end. we don't need it. we don't want it. we are not an advertising supported product and our goal is to know as little information about our users as we possibly can. i know it might sound weird in the world where everything is "free" and supported by ads, but we are quite different in this regard.

    2. secondly, it would be pretty silly for us to want to save address books of the mobile users. the engineering complexity alone would not be something a small startup like us would want to undertake on.

    3 thirdly one small piece of advice: we are the good guys, but there are a lot of bad guys out there who don't play fair or have an "undefined" business models. if you are really worried about your data privacy and security, not only should you never download any shady 3rd party applications, you should not even be using a smartphone at all.

    so in conclusion, one more time: while we do a transient check of the phone number in the address book to find other WhatsApp users and properly route messages between you and your friends, none of your address book numbers are ever saved or stored on our servers.

    now, can anybody help me figure out how how improve battery life on my 9900?


    -- jan
    (whatsapp inc. ceo and co-founder)
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    jaydee5799 (11-15-2012),  MissoulaMarinerFan (06-01-2012) 
  8. MADBRADNYC's Avatar
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    #8  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whatsapp View Post
    now, can anybody help me figure out how how improve battery life on my 9900?
    Ummm. Yeah. Delete every other application, and use only WhatsApp?

    With that...
    Did I win the prize for the $64K question?
    MY TAKE ON THE Z10... I DON'T KNOW HOW, OR WHY, BUT IT WORKS!!!
    kbz1960 likes this.
  9. tohawang's Avatar
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    #9  

    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by whatsapp View Post
    a few notes to clear up here:

    1. first of all, your address book is not saved or stored anywhere on our end. we don't need it. we don't want it. we are not an advertising supported product and our goal is to know as little information about our users as we possibly can. i know it might sound weird in the world where everything is "free" and supported by ads, but we are quite different in this regard.

    2. secondly, it would be pretty silly for us to want to save address books of the mobile users. the engineering complexity alone would not be something a small startup like us would want to undertake on.

    3 thirdly one small piece of advice: we are the good guys, but there are a lot of bad guys out there who don't play fair or have an "undefined" business models. if you are really worried about your data privacy and security, not only should you never download any shady 3rd party applications, you should not even be using a smartphone at all.

    so in conclusion, one more time: while we do a transient check of the phone number in the address book to find other WhatsApp users and properly route messages between you and your friends, none of your address book numbers are ever saved or stored on our servers.

    now, can anybody help me figure out how how improve battery life on my 9900?


    -- jan
    (whatsapp inc. ceo and co-founder)
    Hi, Whatsapp agent, pls fix your version 2.7.2739. Because it gives problems to my 9780. Also as quoted before that all my contacts are gone several times, fortunately ive got backup.
    Thanks:
  10. Alex_Hong's Avatar
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    #10  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tohawang View Post
    Hi, Whatsapp agent, pls fix your version 2.7.2739. Because it gives problems to my 9780. Also as quoted before that all my contacts are gone several times, fortunately ive got backup.
    Thanks:
    whatsapp basically just pull your contacts on your phone and include it inside whatsapp. i dont think it stores any contact information. if your phone's address book is empty, whatsapp will be empty too.

    correct me if i'm wrong.
  11. Mark Donovan's Avatar
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    #11  

    Unhappy lost contacts after installing whatsapp on Blackberry 9780

    Ive just had a user report this to me last week, all contacts appear to be missing
    but strangely if your searching for a user it still picks them up, you just cant see them listed under contacts on the blackberry device no more. The user does not have any backups of them is there anyway to make them show again?
  12. husainpatan's Avatar
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    #12  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whatsapp View Post
    a few notes to clear up here:

    1. first of all, your address book is not saved or stored anywhere on our end. we don't need it. we don't want it. we are not an advertising supported product and our goal is to know as little information about our users as we possibly can. i know it might sound weird in the world where everything is "free" and supported by ads, but we are quite different in this regard.

    2. secondly, it would be pretty silly for us to want to save address books of the mobile users. the engineering complexity alone would not be something a small startup like us would want to undertake on.

    3 thirdly one small piece of advice: we are the good guys, but there are a lot of bad guys out there who don't play fair or have an "undefined" business models. if you are really worried about your data privacy and security, not only should you never download any shady 3rd party applications, you should not even be using a smartphone at all.

    so in conclusion, one more time: while we do a transient check of the phone number in the address book to find other WhatsApp users and properly route messages between you and your friends, none of your address book numbers are ever saved or stored on our servers.

    now, can anybody help me figure out how how improve battery life on my 9900?


    -- jan
    (whatsapp inc. ceo and co-founder)
    Hey thanx for this wonderful piece of software. It saves me a fortune.

    @OP: So what?
    People nowadays have started assuming as if communication via technology is their birth right. Its a privilege.
    Last edited by husainpatan; 04-19-2012 at 08:04 AM.
  13. der_mit's Avatar
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    #13  

    Default

    I really like the Whatsapp app, it compliments BBM very nicely, one question to Jan,
    is there any plans to make the app compatible with the playbook, ie during bridging the app could be mirrored on the playbook, or even a purpose built app for the playbook,

    what i mean is I would really like to have the app on the playbook.

    Cheers and thanks for a great app.
  14. bbzak's Avatar
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    #14  

    Default

    Whatsapp works by connecting contacts on your address book.
    It would have been good if we had some sorta control on whom to add and whom not to add from our address book.

    It is a good app.
    But a massive battery hog.
    I uninstall it everytime I travel so that I have some decent battery life to last the day.

    Whatsapp also takes off contacts from our address book when we uninstall it. (Not always when you uninstall, but a few times I have experienced it). If you don't have a backup of your data, bye bye to your addressbook it is.

    There are plenty of threads discussing about battery saving techniques and extended battery options. No need to change the topic of this thread here to yet another one discussing about the battery life.

    Btw, thanks for the great app.
    Hope this app will remain free always as now and we can see a PB version soon. Ohhh!!! But I forgot, without a sim and dedicated phone number.. It would be difficult to make whatsapp work on a PB.

    So, when are we going to see the Whatsapp with less bugs and a proper control on our addressbook contacts?
  15. bbzak's Avatar
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    #15  

    Default

    Whatsapp works by connecting contacts on your address book.
    It would have been good if we had some sorta control on whom to add and whom not to add from our address book.

    It is a good app.
    But a massive battery hog.
    I uninstall it everytime I travel so that I have some decent battery life to last the day.

    Whatsapp also takes off contacts from our address book when we uninstall it. (Not always when you uninstall, but a few times I have experienced it). If you don't have a backup of your data, bye bye to your addressbook it is.

    There are plenty of threads discussing about battery saving techniques and extended battery options. No need to change the topic of this thread here to yet another one discussing about the battery life.

    Btw, thanks for the great app.
    Hope this app will remain free always as now and we can see a PB version soon. Ohhh!!! But I forgot, without a sim and dedicated phone number.. It would be difficult to make whatsapp work on a PB.

    So, when are we going to see the Whatsapp with less bugs and a proper control on our addressbook contacts?
  16. AdamoEEva's Avatar
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    #16  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Donovan View Post
    Ive just had a user report this to me last week, all contacts appear to be missing
    but strangely if your searching for a user it still picks them up, you just cant see them listed under contacts on the blackberry device no more. The user does not have any backups of them is there anyway to make them show again?
    Did you find an answer to this? The contacts are still there on Whatsapp so must be saved somewhere. Just need to understand where...
    Last edited by AdamoEEva; 11-14-2012 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Quote
  17. liquid_metal's Avatar
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    #17  

    Default

    To clear up one point, when it asks whether to grant an app "trusted status", if you say No, that just does not add any permissions to the app beyond your defaults -- but it still gets your default permissions, plus any that you grant if and when it pops up a separate permissions request. So if your default permissions include Organizer Data, then apps can access your contacts by default even if you say No to "grant trusted status". If you want to have every granted permission run by you, then set all your default permissions to Deny or Prompt (except Cross-Application Communication and Device Settings, or you'll have serious problems). But that will remove permissions from apps that had what they needed from the previous default permissions and didn't explicitly ask for extra permissions. A lot of things will probably stop working until you grant them permissions explicitly, manually in Options.
    raino likes this.
  18. rezzab's Avatar
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    #18  

    Angry Security

    Quote Originally Posted by whatsapp View Post
    a few notes to clear up here:

    1. first of all, your address book is not saved or stored anywhere on our end. we don't need it. we don't want it. we are not an advertising supported product and our goal is to know as little information about our users as we possibly can. i know it might sound weird in the world where everything is "free" and supported by ads, but we are quite different in this regard.

    2. secondly, it would be pretty silly for us to want to save address books of the mobile users. the engineering complexity alone would not be something a small startup like us would want to undertake on.

    3 thirdly one small piece of advice: we are the good guys, but there are a lot of bad guys out there who don't play fair or have an "undefined" business models. if you are really worried about your data privacy and security, not only should you never download any shady 3rd party applications, you should not even be using a smartphone at all.

    so in conclusion, one more time: while we do a transient check of the phone number in the address book to find other WhatsApp users and properly route messages between you and your friends, none of your address book numbers are ever saved or stored on our servers.

    now, can anybody help me figure out how how improve battery life on my 9900?


    -- jan
    (whatsapp inc. ceo and co-founder)
    So I upgraded this morning to the latest whatsapp version - dumb i know!!
    Can completely understand it needs access to my contacts, but this app now wants access to my emails and my schedule AND wants to simulate input and dare deny it and it will forever remain in a state of hanging unless you reboot the whole device
    Would love to hear a reply to why this is suddenly a new requirement and why does it need this info.
    Last edited by rezzab; 01-25-2013 at 09:46 AM. Reason: quote
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  19. dkonigsberg_wa's Avatar
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    #19  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rezzab View Post
    So I upgraded this morning to the latest whatsapp version - dumb i know!!
    Can completely understand it needs access to my contacts, but this app now wants access to my emails and my schedule AND wants to simulate input and dare deny it and it will forever remain in a state of hanging unless you reboot the whole device
    Would love to hear a reply to why this is suddenly a new requirement and why does it need this info.
    The input stimulation permission is to work around some input bugs that happen with languages that use complex input handling, such as many East Asia languages. If you deny this permission, the app will work just fine.

    Email permissions are so that you can contact our support team from within the app, which sends them an Email from your device. Its also used so you can Email chat history, and so that you can open the Email composer when you've highlighted a contact in-app that has an associated Email address in your address book. None of these actions are automated, and they all happen in direct response to actions that a user would expect to send an Email. I don't believe this permission is new, but just that you've recently noticed it.
  20. crackb3ri's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #20  

    Default

    Ha I knew that!

    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority, in a joint report released on Monday, said the app violated privacy laws because users have to provide access to all phone numbers in their address book, including both users and non-users of the app.

    "This lack of choice contravenes (Canadian and Dutch) privacy law. Both users and non-users should have control over their personal data and users must be able to freely decide what contact details they wish to share with WhatsApp," said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority.


    WhatsApp violates privacy laws over phone numbers - report | Reuters

    I said that over year ago in this post but nobody cared...
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  21. boobai's Avatar
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    #21  

    Default

    Great find on that article. I'd love to use this app if I didn't have to give them access to all of my contacts.
  22. semperfi45's Avatar
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    #22  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crackb3ri View Post
    Ha I knew that!

    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority, in a joint report released on Monday, said the app violated privacy laws because users have to provide access to all phone numbers in their address book, including both users and non-users of the app.

    "This lack of choice contravenes (Canadian and Dutch) privacy law. Both users and non-users should have control over their personal data and users must be able to freely decide what contact details they wish to share with WhatsApp," said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority.


    WhatsApp violates privacy laws over phone numbers - report | Reuters

    I said that over year ago in this post but nobody cared...
    Excellent post. Just had someone ask me to install this app. Thank you and thanks Crackberry.
  23. unbreakablej's Avatar
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    #23  

    Default

    I hated whatsapp. It is absolutely terrible but as nobody uses BlackBerry anymore nowadays I was forced to use it. Now, I don't care if it is coming to bb10 I've resolved to text all my friends instead and will provide show them this article to.. maybe sway them back to BlackBerry

    Posted via CB10
  24. bloodyrek's Avatar
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    #24  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by unbreakablej View Post
    I hated whatsapp. It is absolutely terrible but as nobody uses BlackBerry anymore nowadays I was forced to use it. Now, I don't care if it is coming to bb10 I've resolved to text all my friends instead and will provide show them this article to.. maybe sway them back to BlackBerry

    Posted via CB10
    bold part: i lol'd.
  25. unbreakablej's Avatar
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    #25  

    Default

    Hopefully that will change soon! As fast as possible!

    Posted via CB10
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