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Revealed: BeReal may share your location data without your consent

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A woman watches a video of Egyptian influencer Haneen Hossam on the video-sharing app TikTok in Egypt's capital Cairo on July 28, 2020

A woman watches a video of Egyptian influencer Haneen Hossam on the video-sharing app TikTok in Egypt’s capital Cairo on July 28, 2020 – Copyright AFP Jewel SAMAD

Technology experts at VPNOverview have warned against the dangers of BeReal as it is revealed that the application can track your location without your consent. BeReal is a photo sharing app for iOS and Android. Every day at a random time that varies by country, the app sends out a push notification — ⚠️ Time to BeReal. ⚠️ — and users have two minutes to take their pictures. The camera snaps a selfie and a rear-facing photo simultaneously. The app is popular in terms of downloads.

Demand for the app has increased by 1619 percent in the past year with millions of users taking snapshots of their day to day lives in a two minute time frame wherever that may be in the world. The alert can go off at any given moment, encouraging users to simultaneously ‘be real’ and take a snapshot from both the front and back facing camera.

The result of this is more personally indefinable information being shared. In the likes of the workplace, it also proposes a risk of possible sensitive information being disclosed.

As an example of the business risks, one user – @dalanpopo – went viral on TikTok, receiving over 700,000 views when she posted a video from the point of view of an intern in the workplace posting confidential business information on the likes of their BeReal or Snapchat accounts.

On the general issue of personal data, Mirza, Privacy Expert at VPNOverview, tells Digital Journal: “With interest for photo app BeReal surging at the moment propelled by its revolutionary brand value of capturing life in the moment in as “authentic”, “un-curated” and essentially anti-Instagram way as possible, the dangers of oversharing personal information becomes evident.”

Mirza  adds: “There are several privacy risks involved in the case of an app like BeReal that need attention and careful consideration. Due to the nature of BeReal and the fact that it pushes users to post content once every day, there will undoubtedly be privacy issues there and even future court cases where strict laws like the GDPR may be violated.”

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In terms of the risks, Mirza  identifies these as: “When it comes to privacy risks associated with BeReal, one of the top risks is that your location may be shared without your consent. The app has a geo – location feature enabled by default meaning when you share a ‘BeReal’ publicly in the Discovery feed, strangers can see your location clearly.”

Privacy issues are further compromised, as Mirza  explains: “The app allows you to locate your friends precisely on a map in relation to your position. We strongly recommend not sharing your geo-location data. To do this, refuse to give the platform permission when first opening the application. If you have already granted permission, change such permissions through your phone system settings.”

Returning to the business issue, Mirza advises: “We strongly advise against not to photograph whilst in the workplace as this could lead to a serious breach. Images displaying sensitive information including phone numbers is a serious breach.”



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6 Simple Tips to Get the Best Out of Your Paid Social Media Advertising [Infographic]

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6 Simple Tips to Get the Best Out of Your Paid Social Media Advertising [Infographic]

Are you looking for ways to improve your paid social media advertising strategy? Want to learn the paid social basics before launching your first campaign?

Performance Marketing Agency share their paid social tips in this infographic.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Determine your objectives
  • Decide on the priority platforms
  • Define your message
  • Decide on the paid social ads you will use
  • Allocate a budget
  • Leverage the power of your organic posts

Check out the infographic for more detail.

A version of this post was first published on the Red Website Design blog.

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