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Google, WhatsApp and Facebook are spying on you. And you know it!

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 7:17 IST

A recent report by Cybersecurity firm Avast has pointed that Google, WhatsApp and Facebook are spying on their users in order to find out their interest for serving target advertisements. However, on the contrary to common belief, the users are actually well aware about internet firms spying on them.

"Google is an advertising company. Google revenue is basically from AdWords. Spying on users, getting what they are interested in and serving them advertisement is what their business model is. There is nothing inherent wrong with it. Users know what's going on, I think," Avast CEO Vincent Steckler said.

He was talking on the sidelines of release of Avast findings on cybersecurity issues and unveiling of anti-theft mobile security software.

Steckler added that WhatsApp too breaches data privacy of users.

"Did you ask all of your friends and colleague to share their personal and private information with Facebook. That's another biggest user of privacy. WhatsApp is a data collector to serve you advertising inside Facebook. you get advertisement on Facebook based on conversation you had on WhatsApp," Steckler said.

When asked for comments, a Google spokesperson said, "As a policy, we cannot comment on this without looking at specific report."

The privacy policy page of Google says, "When you use our services, you trust us with your information. Data enables us to provide our services like Search, Gmail, and Maps. Data also helps us show relevant ads, so we can make our services free for everyone."

No comments were received from Facebook on the issue.

Steckler said that users also breach privacy of their acquaintances by sharing contact details to use applications on mobile phones.

"In order to use WhatsApp, you have to share your entire contact database, which means you provided all your friends and colleagues contact details to Facebook. Do you have right to do that?" Steckler said.

Avast CEO shared analysis done by company of top 100 applications on Android in the month of September.

As per the analysis, 99% of these applications have entire control of mobile phone which means they remotely operate phone as a user does and 92% can view network connections.

One out of 10 in the top 100 applications can record audio and take pictures and videos and 9 out of 10 are able to read storage content which can modify or delete, as per the report.

Adware and porn clicker malware on Google Play has infected millions of users this year.

"One group of hackers managed to return more than 50 times into the store with the same strategy in just three months - their apps posed as games, but did nothing but click on porn," Steckler said.-PTI

First published: 31 October 2015, 10:53 IST