Communication apps by privacy: Facebook Messenger, Zoom and more

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IOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 Apple In particular, added new tracking transparency policies that app developers and publishers can follow in an effort to help the average user understand how much private information their favorite apps collect from them.

In addition, developers must now first ask users for permission to run targeted ads, which users can opt out of.

This is not surprising because Facebook, which is a notorious data collector, did not accept it. Zuckerberg’s social media network was fast launches an advertising campaign against Apple, arguing that the impact of Apple’s actions will hurt small businesses because they will no longer be able to display “customized” ads to all Facebook users of the iPhone and iPad.

In addition, recently Facebook even tried to use a scare tactics to get iOS users to choose tracking, which suggests that if not, Facebook and Instagram will have to start charging money.

How much of your information does your favorite messaging app collect?

If you’re a privacy-aware person, you may be interested to know how much private information the world’s most popular messaging apps collect from you and your family and link to your identity.

So let’s take a look at the App Store’s most popular messaging apps and see which ones respect your privacy and to what extent, starting with the app that collects the least amount of your private information – Signal. What we use to determine the privacy of these apps is Apple’s new “App Privacy” section of the App Store.

Privacy messaging applications, summary:

  • Signal
  • Skype
  • Zoom
  • Disagreements
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook Messenger
  • TikTok

Signal

Signal is an application recommended by people like Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk that is used to exit the world of targeted advertising.

As difficult as it may sound to convince your family and friends to switch to Signal, there are few operational disadvantages to using it. Like Facebook Messenger, it supports sharing text messages, photos, links, recorded voice messages, and video calls.

For an app that is entirely funded by donations and grants, as opposed to collecting and selling private data, this is all very impressive. The signal only wants your phone number to work, as shown in the App Privacy section of the App Store.

Signal “App Privacy” information as it appears in the App Store:

Skype

Skype has been around for some time, so it has a long and interesting history. Ten years ago, it was bought by Microsoft, which still owns it. And as Windows 10 users may be aware, Microsoft doesn’t exactly want to give users easy options, whether it’s upgrades or deciding not to share information with a giant.

Surprisingly, even compared to most messaging apps, Skype looks good, using a small amount of information that it links to you, none of which is anything out of the ordinary. No “exact location” or the like.

Skype’s “App Privacy” information as it appears in the App Store:

Zoom

The main thing of Zoom is video conferencing, but since it is currently a very popular application and also supports communication, we will include it. Compared to people like Facebook Messenger, Zoom seems to reasonably respect your private information, seemingly collecting only what is necessary for it to work.

The things it collects about you and links to your identities that you may not know include your exact location, device ID, and phone number.

Zoom “App Privacy” information as it appears in the App Store:

Disagreements

Discord is a player-centric chat app that revolves around user-made communities, so in addition to private personal communication, it offers group chats, voice chats, and even video calls.

It doesn’t collect entire heaps of private data, but which seems reasonable for the app to work properly. In particular, it collects and links your identity issues, such as your email address, search history, device ID, and purchase history.

Discord’s “App Privacy” information as it appears in the App Store:

Telegram

Telegram is currently among the best “Social Networking” apps and offers a communication experience like Skype or Facebook Messenger.

The information it collects from you and links to you specifically includes financial information and the exact location, but overall the app looks pretty reasonable for data collection.

“App Privacy” information for the telegram as it appears in the App Store:

WhatsApp Messenger

WhatsApp is one of those apps that doesn’t seem to collect too much more than it needs. What it takes from you and links to your identity include your location, contact information, and financial information. It’s not quite a signal, but much better than Facebook Messenger.

WhatsApp’s “App Privacy” information as it appears in the App Store:

Facebook Messenger

Probably no one is shocked that Facebook Messenger collects a ridiculous amount of information that it also links to your identity. This includes your exact location, phone number, physical address, device ID, purchase history, payment information, financial information, and more.

Whether or not you are charming, handing all this information to a giant that advertisers can then use is your job and you may not bother you. But if you don’t want to share all your private information with large companies, there are plenty of other messaging apps out there.

Facebook’s “App Privacy” information as it appears in the App Store:


TikTok

TikTok is currently one of the largest social media applications, popular among teenagers, and owned by Chinese Internet technology giant ByteDance. While it’s primarily a video sharing app, it also has messaging.

Perhaps it’s not shocking that TikTok collects quite a bit of personal information like Facebook. It uses your contact information (device ID, email address, phone number) to track you, as well as your location, browsing history, advertising information about you, financial information, physical address, and more.

In this regard, recently TikTok’s parent company was sued for collecting the personal data of minors. On behalf of teen and younger TikTok users, one of whom is under the age of 8, the lawsuit alleged that TikTok “infiltrates users’ devices and retrieves a wide range of private information, including biometric data and content used by respondents to track and profile TikTok users. including ad targeting and profit. “

In the following statement, TikTok said: “While we disagree with the allegations, instead of going through lengthy trials, we would like to focus our efforts on building a safe and joyful experience for the TikTok community.”

TikTok’s “App Privacy” information as it appears in the App Store:

What do you think about collecting application data?

The collection of user data used for advertising keeps much of the Internet free, so it is undeniably not an unreasonable practice. In any case, we cannot deny that Apple, which gives users a clear picture of how much data each application collects, is not a good step towards transparency.

What do you think about this? Are you okay when your data is collected if it means apps like Facebook stay free? Do you want more control over the information you share with advertisers? And are you going to switch to another messaging app? Join the discussion and let us know in the comments section below.

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