Instant messaging apps have always been a point of privacy concern. Time and again, we get to read revelations regarding data sharing and privacy slackening by popular instant messaging platforms. And while WhatsApp has been a regular entry, platforms like Telegram are considered more reliable from the privacy point of view.
Telegram’s Location Sharing Feature Compromising on User Privacy?
Telegram has always been hailed as a good alternative for WhatsApp because it offers more privacy to users. However, the latest report raises concerns over the platform’s dedication to privacy via its location sharing feature. A user named Ahmed warned the public about Telegram’s “People Nearby” feature and stated that it exposes users’ locations online in an unsecured manner that could make it easily detectable by others.
The location-sharing feature shows the distance between users, but it’s not hard to extract the precise location data from it. Someone could use a GPS spoofing device or just walk around to reach the nearest location and get the coordinates to find any user’s specific location. In his statement, Ahmed said that you are “publishing your home address online,”
Telegram reportedly remains unaffected by the revelation. The company said that users are knowingly sharing their locations and that the feature does not come enabled by default. The feature has to be enabled manually by the user. Telegram’s security team said that it is ‘expected’ that users could find the exact location.
We think that Telegram’slocation feature poses a great deal of threat to privacy if used by the wrong people. It could be a contributing tool for stalkers and criminals to fetch locations of their target. If you are using Telegram, we suggest steering clear of this feature until Telegram updates it for a safer execution.
WhatsApp states that it shares data for users’ convenience and safety. It says that data sharing improves the app’s experience and interaction with other Facebook services, including personalized suggestions, content, features, and help users make a purchase. Other revelations in the policy include how WhatsApp pushes “safety, security, and integrity,” and handles abuse and spam.
Although there is no shocking revelation in the updated policy, it still caused a stir because users noticed how widely WhatsApp shares their data in its ecosystem, including Facebook and Instagram. This policy update came as a gentle reminder for users to understand how the Facebook ecosystem has access to most of our data and how it could be sharing it with advertisers to make more money.