Even as privacy remains a hot topic with soaring concerns, tech companies continue to access people’s data without permission. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Skype and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s WhatsApp are some of the apps at the center of attention. It is emerging that the two apps continue to access people’s contact lists, thousands of times a day, without their parent companies knowing why. Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP)‘s is also a point of concern.
Violation Of Users Privacy
Skype happens to be the biggest offender according to data retrieved on BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s app DTEK. The app is able to monitor and notify users on BlackBerry Priv the number of times and for how long their data might have been accessed by such apps. As it appears, the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) app reads hundreds of contacts at a time every few hours
Over a three days period, a user was able to discover that Skype had accessed his contact list 3,844 times. WhatsApp comes in a close second having accessed the same contact list a total of 2,449 times. Even though Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) comes in a distant third the fact that it accessed the contact list, 165 times raises serious privacy concerns.
It is still unclear whether Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Yelp can access other information in devices based on their ability to access the contact list. Skype, WhatsApp, and Yelp enjoy a wider access to devices thanks to their integration in cameras, microphones among many more.
Need For Users Consent
Accessed data most of the time ends up being uploaded to the associated company’s servers. Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) now warns users of the possibility of uploading their contacts to its servers after being discovered to be doing so without permission. Even though Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Yelp access contact lists a thousands of times, the same barely eats owner’s data plan.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) have in the recent past portrayed themselves as privacy advocates in the wake of Edward Snowden’ revelation. The fact that they continue to access such data without letting users consent should continue to evoke concerns over their motive.