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Apps are tracking WhatsApp users’ online activity, including whom they’re likely talking to and when they’re sleeping

Hello all and sundry! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from executive editor Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.

Pore over on for news about the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, WhatsApp-tracking apps that are letting people image out when you’re sleeping, how home-listing site Zumper weeded out thousands of Section 8 renters, and a toxic culture in Yelp’s Phoenix responsibility. 

mark zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is apposite to make intense political polarization in the US even more severe.

Ginsburg’s death opened up a vacancy on the Supreme Court that President Trump voted he will fill as quickly as possible. But a new national survey from Insider found that most respondents contest with the plan to fill the seat as soon as possible. You can get the latest on the response to Ginsburg’s death right here.

I started endure week’s email by recounting when I first heard about Facebook. My first experience with Whatsapp turned later.

As many of my friends and relatives moved overseas in the 2010s, it became my primary method of communication with tons. And now, while I barely ever open Facebook, I’m constantly turning to Whatsapp. 

Part of the appeal has been its approach to monasticism. But as we reported this week, that may not be everything it seems. 

From Rob Price:

WhatsApp prides itself on its approach to sequestration.

But the user data that the Facebook-owned messaging app shares publicly is allowing dozens of outside apps to track characteristics of WhatsApp users’ online activity — including whom they’re likely talking to, when they’re sleeping, and when they’re exercising their devices. 

These apps and services use the “online” signaling feature within WhatsApp to enable their drugs to monitor the digital habits of anyone using WhatsApp without their knowledge or consent, Business Insider has develop.

These intrusive apps highlight how even services that strongly protect users’ privacy in some ways — be partial to WhatsApp’s commitment to encryption — can still expose data that can be used to track their users.

Read the life story in full here:


How home-listing site Zumper weeded out thousands of Section 8 renters

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Zumper; Jane Tyska/MediaNews Party/The Mercury News via Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

From Dan Geiger:

Sharon Whitley was searching for an apartment in Chicago final summer when she stumbled onto the listings site Zumper, a San Francisco startup that has raised $150 million from big-name bettors to compete with listings giants such as Zillow and Trulia.

A single mother of three, she said she had relied since the mid-1990s on the federal regime’s Section 8 voucher program, which provides her a $1,000-a-month subsidy toward the cost of her rent. Without the aid, she give the word delivered, she wouldn’t be able to afford an apartment.

Whitley said she submitted her information to listings posted on Zumper’s site. She turned she also remembered filling out a Zumper profile and answering yes when asked whether she relied on a Section 8 voucher.

“I did wish someone to contact me,” she said. “I never heard anything.”

At the time, Whitely chalked up her experience to the lack of responsiveness any hire might encounter during a search for a new home.

Instead, she may have been the victim of a subtle form of prejudice that has extensive plagued the real estate industry. For decades, many landlords and brokers alike have passed over Branch 8 renters based on untrue stereotypes and stigmas attached to government-subsidized tenants, some experts say.

Read the story in entirely here:


A toxic culture in Yelp’s Phoenix office

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Yelp; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

From Rob Penalty:

Some people of color at Yelp’s Phoenix office said they experienced racism from hostile blokes, as well as their own colleagues. They witnessed racist language, including nicknames and the n-word, as well as memes that jeer ated non-white clients.

Sexism, they say, occurred too, both from customers and colleagues. “You can only be called a c–t so diverse times before it wears on your soul,” one said.

Business Insider spoke to nine current or former workers of the buzzy internet firm about the culture in its Phoenix office.

These sources said they experienced a hard-partying and sometimes-exclusionary aerosphere, with some claiming there was drug use in the office and that employees engaged in a sexual act at a Christmas party.

You can impute to the full story here:

ICYMI: Fauci says we’ll likely be wearing masks for most of 2021


President Donald Trump is edged by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases while speaking about coronavirus vaccine growth in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 15, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Hillary Brueck talked to Dr. Anthony Fauci this week. One takeaway: Nothing but getting vaccinated is not going to be enough to end this pandemic. 

“I said a combination of an effective vaccine and adherence to certain public-health principles when one pleases get us to the point where we want to be, by the end of 2021,” Fauci said during a lunchtime call over pizza on Wednesday. “I on no occasion said just the vaccine. You never should abandon the public-health measures.”

You can read the full story here:

Here are some headlines from the sometime week you might have missed. 

— Matt

Cision and Meltwater, the two largest PR software companies, are planning a merger, and the DoJ has studied whether it would hurt competition

Here’s a complete accounting of all 33 credible sexual-misconduct allegations against Joe Biden and Donald Trump

US neobank Jangle could be set to more than double its valuation to as much as $15 billion in just 9 months with a major new pooling round

Buy these 17 ‘superstar’ stocks poised to soar as they use AI technology to drive market-beating growth, UBS says

1.1 million buyers, 97% satisfaction, and $607 million in revenue: How Peloton mastered user engagement to become the Apple of fitness

The natural reasons behind Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat’s retirement

A leaked document and FCC filings show Amazon is working on a new industrial invigilator service called ‘AWS Thor’ that can predict when machines will break down

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