After WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook sent out a notification directing users to agree to the social networks’ renewed privacy policy or stop using the service. Now people are switching to Signal an encrypted messaging app available on all platforms. Tesla founder Elon Musk in a tweet asked his followers to try Signal.

 

The Signal private messaging app is available on iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac.

 

Bought by Facebook in 2014, WhatsApp is currently the most popular messaging app with over two billion active monthly users globally. WhatsApp popularised the use of end-to-end encryption in day-to-day communications, introducing it as its default for messaging in 2016.

A recent WhatsApp notification, which was received by millions of Indian users that says, WhatsApp`s new Terms of Service and privacy policy, which will come into effect on February 8, and has asked users to either accept the changes in its Terms of Service and privacy policy or their accounts will be deleted.

The policy updates read, “WhatsApp must receive or collect some information to operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services, including when you install, access, or use our Services.”

“Businesses you interact with using our Services may provide us with information about their interactions with you. We require each of these businesses to act in accordance with applicable law when providing any information to us,” it further adds.

While users were able to opt-out until now, starting February 8, they will have only one solution, if they don’t want their data to be owned by the parent company – uninstall the app and stop using the service.

On the other hand, Some of the info WhatsApp is collecting and will be sharing includes location data, IP addresses, phone model, OS, battery level, signal strength, browser, mobile network, ISP, language, time zone, and even IMEI. There’s also the information about how you are messaging, calling, what groups you are attending, the Status, the profile photo, last time you were online, etc.

The older version of the privacy policy used to start with the following lines: ‘Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA. Since we started WhatsApp, we’ve aspired to build our Services with a set of strong privacy principles in mind.’

Signal Messenger LLC, which works under a non-profit (like Mozilla) called the Signal Foundation, was formed after co-founders of Whatsapp Jan Koum and Brian Acton left the company and donated $50 million to Signal. The app is widely considered the gold standard for encrypted texting today.

 

Signal encrypts everything you could think of, including your profile photo, your voice and video calls, photos, attachments, stickers, and location pins.

Signal also doesn’t send unsecured backups of your messages to the cloud where they can be read by anyone, including Google and WhatsApp. Instead, they are stored in an encrypted database on your phone and only you hold the key.

Signal also has other features that simply don’t exist on other mainstream messaging platforms. One such feature is an Incognito Keyboard option that tells your keyboard not to learn from what you type on the app.

 

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