Whisper, a mysterious secret-sharing mobile application, has been carelessly revealing sensitive data regarding its users. Reportedly, the data exposure has taken place from many years via a public online database. The app has leaked around 900 million secrets and confessions posted over the platform. Notably, anonymous posts on the platform could easily be related to the original poster of the story. The wide range of posts includes real-life stories which range from domestic abuse to closeted homosexuality, to unwanted pregnancies. Despite such a massive data leak, over 30 million people are using the app every month. Notably, some of the users are below the age of 18 years who share confessions regarding teenage sexual meets and information on sexual orientation.
The database comprises fake names, as Whisper aimed to secure the identity of users and enable them to share secrets namelessly. But the database left unguarded online consisting of details like location, residence, ethnicity, age, in-app nickname, and membership. Since the records of the once-famous app among teens included age, it would have eased bad actors to catch young uses. In that case, the bad actors could also have accessed location data, which indicated specific neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces. Reportedly, more than records exist, where users have age less than 15 years.
On the other hand, security researchers Dan Ehrlich and Matthew Porter, who operate the company Twelve Security, said they informed federal officials about the situation. Ehrlich said the data exposure has very much breached the ethical and social standards they have surrounding the security of children over the net. The security researchers noted the personal data, included in the messages, was enough to blackmail or expose the user who shared the post. Meanwhile, the company has denied accepting the findings. It replied the posts and the connections are consumer-facing features of the application, which depends upon users whether to share or not.
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