If you rely on WhatsApp to message friends and family, it’s important to know that the service lets your contacts know when you’re available to chat, and whether you’ve read their texts.
Chatwatch, a new iOS app that uses WhatsApp’s public online/offline status feature to tell users how often their friends check the app and estimate when they go to bed each day.
It can even correlate data on two contacts you choose to guess if they’ve been talking to each other.
The company says there’s not a whole lot you can do about it: even if you’ve disabled the ‘Last Seen’ feature in your account settings.
It’ll still be able to figure out your WhatsApp activity.
It’s possible to find out if a WhatsApp user is online or not simply by initiating a conversation with them (no messages need to be exchanged for this to work).
So it’s possible that Chatwatch’s system is automating this process of checking on users and aggregating data to deliver insights.
Naturally, it’d be great to see WhatsApp disable this functionality so we can maintain at least a semblance of privacy in our lives.