Wednesday June 26, 2019
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Survey Reveals That 50% of Americans Do Not Know Who Owns WhatsApp

A previous survey by DuckDuckGo found that 56.9 per cent of American adults were unaware that Facebook owns Instagram and 44.6 per cent did not even know that Google owns YouTube

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp working on fingerprint authentication for chats: Report. Pixabay

It may sound bizarre but nearly 50 per cent of Americans who have used WhatsApp in the last six months have no idea who owns the popular mobile messaging platform.

According to a survey by DuckDuckGo, the US-based privacy-protecting search engine, just over half of US citizens (50.42 per cent) do not know WhatsApp is owned by Facebook.

“We randomly selected 1,297 US adults (not just DuckDuckGo users) who are collectively demographically similar to the general population of US adults and surveyed them on August 16, 2018.

“Half of those who used WhatsApp in the past six months weren’t aware that Facebook owns WhatsApp,” said the survey.

The findings also showed that nearly 60 per cent of those who used Waze in the past six months didn’t know that Google owns Waze.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

Waze is a popular GPS navigation software. It works on smartphones and tablet computers that have GPS support.

“This means that a majority of Americans who are using WhatsApp and/or Waze are doing so without realising that all of their information, whether it be routes, travel time, messages, photos, or location data, is privy to Facebook (for WhatsApp) and Google (for Waze),” said the survey.

According to the survey, the lack of awareness over Facebook and Google’s reach is even more alarming as more and more Americans are looking to take control of their privacy online.

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A previous survey by DuckDuckGo found that 56.9 per cent of American adults were unaware that Facebook owns Instagram and 44.6 per cent did not even know that Google owns YouTube.

Facebook in 2014 acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. Both WhatsApp co-founders – Brian Acton and Jan Koum – have quit Facebook over data privacy and Facebook’s plans to monetise WhatsApp. (IANS)

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Americans Want NASA to Focus More on Asteroid Impacts, Less on Getting to Mars

Americans also want NASA to do more research to further our understanding of Earth

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Americans, NASA, Asteroid
An Alaska Airlines flight passes by the rising moon, Feb. 21, 2016, in Phoenix. VOA

Americans would rather have NASA closely monitor asteroids and comets that could crash into Earth than send an astronaut to the moon or Mars.

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, released Thursday, found two-thirds of respondents said monitoring asteroids, comets and “other events in space that could impact Earth” was “very or extremely important.”

Americans also want NASA to do more research to further our understanding of Earth, the solar system and the universe. But once again the respondents said they want NASA to conduct the research using robots, not human astronauts.

Toni Dewey, a 71-year-old retired clerical worker in Wilmington, N.C., told AP in an interview that machines, rather than humans, should be explorers.

Americans, NASA, Asteroid
Americans would rather have NASA closely monitor asteroids and comets that could crash into Earth. Pixabay

“It would cost a lot of money to send somebody to Mars,” she said, “and we have roads and bridges that need repaired here.”

Dewey is also not too eager to return to the moon, saying: “We’ve been there.”

In fact, only 23% of those surveyed thought we should return to the moon and only 27% favored a manned mission to Mars.

The poll comes as the White House renews its push for manned space landings.

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During a rally to launch his re-election campaign this week, U.S. President Donald Trump promised that if he wins a second term, the country will “lay the foundation” for landing astronauts on Mars.

Even though he has given NASA a five-year deadline to return an astronaut to the moon, Trump recently changed his focus.

But either moon, or Mars, the good news for NASA is that 60% of Americans believe the benefits of space exploration have justified the cost. (VOA)