A US senator has asked anonymous confession sharing app Whisper to explain its privacy policies after reports emerged that the app was tracking locations of users and selling it to other companies. The Guardian had reported that the app tracked location of users who opted out from the feature.
The app also collects interesting posts from users and shares it with its partners and even offered The Guardian to share information. The allegations have made “Jay” Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat and Chairman at Senate Commerce, science and transportation committee to send a letter to Micheal Heyward, WhisperText CEO this week. Whisper claims to be the”safest place on the internet” and its dealing with Buzzfeed and other organizations have been put on hold.
“Users are entitled to privacy policies that are transparent, disclosed and followed by the company,” mentioned Rockefeller in the letter.
The allegations were revealed after The Guardian was in the process of a media partnership with the app. The senator has asked Whisper to reveal details about the tracking of users who have opted out, sharing of user data and how it notifies users about any change in privacy policies. The publishing company also alleged that the Whisper made changes to the privacy policies after the it was known that users were still being tracked after opting out.
Rockefeller has urged the Whisper CEO to attend a Q&A session with the Senate Commerce Committee to address the concerns. He added that consumer privacy was his top priority and the committee has exercised its jurisdiction with data practices and data security. Whisper claims that the GPS data is mixed to preserve anonymity, though the location of the user is traceable via IP address. The company is yet to respond to the senator’s letter.
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