The Brief: Whisper is an anonymous social media app designed for sharing secrets, gossip, and confessions. It has a history of issues with privacy and anonymity.

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DEEP DIVE

Whisper is a free application that allows users to communicate “anonymously.” It dubs itself as a place where “millions of people around the world share real thoughts, trade advice, and get the inside scoop.” Through Whisper, people can communicate through direct messages, videos with text, and image macros. Whisper is free to download and has a 3.1/5 star rating out of over 10,000 reviews on Apple’s App Store.

Whisper App Guide
Whisper
Whisper App
Apple/The App Store

Safety & Privacy Concerns

While Whisper advertises itself as a place where people can anonymously and privately communicate, multiple investigative reportsΒ have provided evidence that anonymity on Whisper is not guaranteed and user privacy may be compromised. Whisper has reportedly tracked users’ locations even after they opted out of geolocation services, shared information with the US Department of Defense when smartphones were used on military bases, stored user data in a searchable database, closely monitored potentially newsworthy users, and shared various user information with law enforcement agencies.

Whisper’s privacy policy plainly lays out some of the ways in which they may collect or share user data, including via location tracking, and for both internal and external communications. While the Whisper app’s users may be anonymous to each other, there is no guarantee that they’re anonymous to the app’s developers or anyone Whisper may share this information with.

As with other anonymous messaging and social media platforms, some users may use the anonymity of Whisper to send inappropriate or harmful messages. On The App Store, Whisper is suggested for users 17 and up due to the possibility of their being adult content relating to sex, drugs, alcohol, profanity or crude humor.