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The Guardian: ‘How Whisper App Tracks “Anonymous” Users’

Paul Lewis and Dominic Rushe, reporting for The Guardian:

Approached for comment last week, Whisper said it “does not follow or track users”. The company added that the suggestion it was monitoring people without their consent, in an apparent breach of its own terms of service, was “not true” and “false”.

But on Monday — four days after learning the Guardian intended to publish this story — Whisper rewrote its terms of service; they now explicitly permit the company to establish the broad location of people who have disabled the app’s geolocation feature.

Whisper has developed an in-house mapping tool that allows its staff to filter and search GPS data, pinpointing messages to within 500 meters of where they were sent.

Update: Whisper denies everything in The Guardian’s report. Everything. (Curious that they put it on Scribd — why not on the company blog?) Either The Guardian blew it and got it wrong, or Whisper is lying.

Friday, 17 October 2014