The original report claimed that Whisper tracks the location of its users — even those who've opted out of geolocation services entirely — through a system that can pinpoint messages "to within 500 meters of where they were sent." For users with geolocation disabled, Whisper uses IP address tracking to get a rough idea of their location, The Guardian said. Other claims blasted the company's executives for secretly tracking users they believe to be "newsworthy" and sharing content with media companies without a user's permission. Whisper quickly fired back and denied nearly all of The Guardian's claims. Both sides have remained in a back-and-forth since the original story was published.
An exposé has landed Whisper in hot water
"While Whisper may provide its users a unique social experience, the allegations in recent media reports are serious, and users are entitled to privacy policies that are transparent, disclosed, and followed by the company," Rockefeller wrote in his letter. Unlike Facebook, Whisper (and other apps like Secret) allow people to share intimate or sensitive thoughts anonymously, and that freedom has seen them grow in popularity of late.