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Whisper, Secret, and Snapchat leaks show that fake privacy is almost worse than no privacy at all.


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It's pretty hard to indulge your lower urges on the Internet with no comeback whatsoever. Maybe just slow down on the bullying and drunk sexting instead?

That's wise advice. Too bad the users of Secret and Snapchat are not good at taking wise advice.

Last week in an investigative story the Guardian revealed that anonymous social feed Whisper is actually collecting user locations based on geolocation and IP addresses.

The report also says that Whisper is saving posts and their location information to a searchable database, despite its promise to be “the safest place on the Internet.” But the revelation about Whisper is just the latest in a string of incidents that remind users that many, if not all, of the consumer apps on the market that promise anonymity and security fail to deliver.

Secret has shown it’s vulnerable to hacking, though the company does have a bug bounty program that has successfully kept Secret out of the news, as Wired reported. But the same can’t be said for Snapchat, which repeatedly finds its way into the news, most recently for a leak of 200,000 user photos that ended up on Internet forum 4chan. Though Snapchat’s servers weren’t hacked in this particular event, the ephemeral messaging service has been found to be less secure — and less ephemeral — than it advertises. The company settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission in May for overstated claims of user anonymity and security.

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