iOS: Facebook spies on us all the time, and, by extension, so do the companies it owns such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Now, one app is turning the tables by letting you use all that data they’re quietly collecting to spy on your own WhatsApp friends and contacts.
Photo: Christoph Scholz (Flickr)
Available now for iOS, Chatwatch takes advantage of WhatsApp’s public online/offline status feature, which lets your friends know when you’re readily available to talk. Using this data, the app can tell you how often your friends check WhatsApp. It can even estimate what time they go to sleep and wake up each day.
Even more impressive (and invasive), Chatwatch can combine WhatsApp data from two of your contacts to make an educated guess if they have been talking to each other. Basically, if two of your friends were both online for the same consecutive five minutes in the wee hours of the morning, there’s a decent chance they were messaging each other.
It’s a creepy new trick that the app’s developers hope will bring more attention to how Facebook handles our data, along with how other companies access and analyse it. It’s also pretty likely that WhatsApp will find a way to block Chatwatch soon. So if you want to
spy on your friends expose Facebook’s privacy issues, you should try it soon.
One small catch: Chatwatch isn’t free – it’s actually kind of expensive. For $2.99, you get the ability to spy on two of your contacts for a week, so choose carefully. The developers say this money will go towards maintaining the app and funding an anti-Trump political non-profit.