WhatsApp can easily be described as the best messaging service in the world, but just like any other top application, WhatsApp also comes with several downsides, such as allowing criminals or simply strangers to discover all kinds of details about your daily schedule.
The issue has its origin in the “last seen” and “online status” features integrated into the application.
The biggest problem is that you cannot get rid of this, at least not how long you use WhatsApp.
Indeed, you can disable the “last seen” feature, but you cannot disable the “online”, which reveals the moments you are using the device.
Software engineer Rob Heaton has made similar discoveries in the past, and to demonstrate how data can be abused, he imagines a scenario in which he creates a Chrome extension to monitor and record the activity of his WhatsApp contacts.
By collecting all this data, you can make some estimates as to when a person goes to sleep and how long that “target” sleeps.
You could take things further, and by analyzing the patterns of activity various individuals, you can see who he is talking to.
This would not be obvious in the first phase, but with enough data collected, it is easier to see which of your contacts are talking to each other.
Heaton says such data can be collected on a large scale and can then be sold to companies for advertising purposes.
For example, people who have irregular sleep patterns may see the sleeping pills commercials.