Courtesy Pixa Bay
I am the founder of ( www.aapoon.com) which is the world’s safest social media app that provides unmatched privacy to our users. While we offer our users several safeguards, we also assure them that we will not let their user data leave the aapoon platform or be sold to third parties without their permission. As part of our marketing efforts, we maintain a Facebook page and Instagram page for aapoon – which were both managed through personal FB and Instagram accounts.
Recently, out of the blue, Instagram started suggesting connections to people with whom I have a professional relationship. First, it suggested my Financial Advisor (FA) as a possible connection. I was surprised by this as I don’t have any other communications from my accounts with my FA, nor am I part of any social media group that he may belong to. Further, I communicate with my FA over my icloud.com email id, because as we well know Google reads Gmail. I struggled to figure out how Instagram managed to know about my FA connection when it didn't have access to my contacts.
A few weeks later, Instagram popped up with another suggestion to connect with my gardener. That solved the mystery for me! I store my gardener’s contact in my phone’s Contacts and WhatsApp has access to my Contacts. As you may know, WhatsApp and Instagram are both owned by Facebook. Till recently, WhatsApp was known for its high level of privacy. Of late, however, Facebook appears to have dismantled all the safeguards the WhatsApp founders put in place to ensure user privacy. I have been using WhatsApp for 7 years and have given the app access to my mobile contacts. I now have evidence that FB is using all my contacts and analyzing them. They may well be mining my chats on WhatsApp as well.
I have now deleted my Instagram account. Facebook says the account will be deleted permanently only on January 22nd, 2021 - which is 30 days from the request to delete my account.
I am planning to delete my WhatsApp account shortly – delayed only by the fact that I need to inform everyone I am connected with on it about this impending change.