Users of the messaging app have been having connectivity issues using Wiper. Many news outlet report that the makers of the app are shutting it down.
There seems to be a trend of secure messaging apps and private social networking sites shutting down. A couple of months ago Experience Project closed down due to invasive privacy laws. This article will be an analysis of why Wiper is shutting down and investigate any connections to the trend.
Fresh Labs, the company behind Wiper, discontinued Wiper services. However, they still have another app called Fresh Team, which is a group communication app. The difference between Wiper and Fresh Team is that the latter is described as “location sharing service” among other things. This is problematic for privacy.
Many communication and texting apps, such as Facebook and Whatsapp, do log and “spy” on your phone activities, you location being one information they log. The reason they do this is so they can sell that information to the highest bidder behind closed doors (kinda closed doors).
Wiper promised that the users information will always be encrypted, secured, and the user has the ability to delete text and other information any time they feel like it. A service like this is less, if at all, profitable to the developer. Most communication apps make money by selling the private information of their users, that is the reason Wiper was revolutionary in a way.
However, seems that Fresh Labs are following the flow and the status quo of how these apps make money. They shut down their secure service, Wiper, and are putting all their energy in their new app, Fresh Team. The latter being more conventional to the texting apps framework, and more upfront about logging and sharing your location information as well.
When Experience Project, a social networking site, was faced with issues of privacy they decided not to change their conventions and stand by their principles. That led them to closing the site down. They rather have their social network be closed down than follow the trend of selling their users’ private information. Unfortunately, Fresh Labs shut down Wiper precisely so they can focus on selling their users’ private information with Fresh Team.