WhatsApp users flock to rival Signal after Facebook-owned app introduces ‘draconian’ new privacy rules
WHATSAPP has faced backlash after introducing new privacy laws that could result in your account being deactivated if you don’t click agree.
The policies have been blasted as ‘draconian’ and some people are now switching to rival app Signal.
— Vince d’Eon VE6LK (@vincedeon) January 8, 2021
Encrypted messaging app Signal has reportedly seen a surge in signups after a recent WhatsApp popup informed users of the new privacy rules.
The news rules apply to all users but people outside the UK and the EU will also need to agree to more data sharing with Facebook.
If affected users don’t accept the new privacy terms then they’ll lose access to their WhatsApp account from February 8.
Many people have seen the new WhatsApp terms popup already and clicked ‘agree’ without fully reading the terms.
Verification codes are currently delayed across several providers because so many new people are trying to join Signal right now (we can barely register our excitement). We are working with carriers to resolve this as quickly as possible. Hang in there.
— Signal (@signalapp) January 7, 2021
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
The UK and EU pop up doesn’t mention the Facebook data sharing changes.
The personal data that some users will have to agree to share with the tech giant includes their phone number.
Even billionaire Elon Musk has tweeted to tell people to use Signal.
This is thought to have encouraged a huge wave of signups.
Signal recently tweeted: “Verification codes are currently delayed across several providers because so many new people are trying to join Signal right now (we can barely register our excitement).
“We are working with carriers to resolve this as quickly as possible. Hang in there.”
Signal and Telegram are now better alternatives if you are concerned about your privacy. Here’s what a Facebook wants out of you on WhatsApp and it’s own site: pic.twitter.com/uBN5g9ufgx
— Mike Butcher (@mikebutcher) January 7, 2021
Signal is deemed to be the most secure digital communication method on the open market.
It gives users the option of being able to erase their own messages within a set period of time, from a week down to just five seconds.
Last year, the Sun reported that members of the UK Government, including the Prime Minister, had signed up to Signal.
Disappearing messages are liked by senior Government figures because they help limit leaks.
But the option also makes it impossible to seize their messages later by Freedom of Information requests or a judge’s order.
The WhatsApp website has a section that answers ‘What information does WhatsApp share with the Facebook Companies?’.
It states: “WhatsApp currently shares certain categories of information with Facebook Companies.
The updated policy also suggests that you may receive marketing material about Facebook Companies.
The move could be another step towards Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram eventually integrating as one.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, it is still the case that WhatsApp does not share European region WhatsApp user data with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products or advertisements.”
What is Signal?
It’s the app everyone is talking about right now…
Signal is an encrypted messaging app that you can download for free on your smartphone.
It allows one to one or group messages that can include files, voice notes, videos, images, voice calls and video calls.
The app was created by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC.
The Signal Foundation was formed in 2018 by Moxie Marlinspike and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton.
Their aim is “to support, accelerate, and broaden Signal’s mission of making private communication accessible and ubiquitous”, meaning it could be used by everyone everywhere.
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What do you think of the new WhatsApp data change? Let us know in the comments…
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