Whisper's privacy promises scrutinized

The Guardian reports that Whisper, an app that lets people post anonymous missives to the world, isn't so anonymous: it allegedly monitors some users' location, shares their information with the US Department of Defense, and collects personal data indefinitely.

Approached for comment last week, Whisper said it "does not follow or track users". The company added that the suggestion it was monitoring people without their consent, in an apparent breach of its own terms of service, was "not true" and "false".

But on Monday – four days after learning the Guardian intended to publish this story – Whisper rewrote its terms of service; they now explicitly permit the company to establish the broad location of people who have disabled the app's geolocation feature.

Whisper's Neetzan Zimmerman said the claims about its privacy practices were 100% false and published a rebuttal of The Guardian's allegations, along with its questions.

Mathew Ingram writes that one underlying problem is that Whisper wants to be a news publisher, a goal seemingly at odds with its mission of user anonymity and privacy.