The world’s most-used messaging app, WhatsApp, has come under severe criticism after it announced on Wednesday that it will share data with Facebook forcing users to opt for alternatives.
The users have objected to the new data-sharing agreement because of Facebook's record on privacy and security. Amid the ongoing controversy over the new policy, Signal and Telegram have emerged as more reliable and secure modes of communication.
After the announcement of the new policy, Twitteratis took to the platform to express their frustration with WhatsApp over the data-sharing agreement and many have claimed that they are leaving the messaging app.
WhatsApp users beware: the app will now force users to agree to share data (i.e. All phones hardware's info, bank details, location, etc.) even if you've previously opted out.#SignalApp #WhatsappNewPolicy #WhatsappPrivacy #WhatsAppPrivacyPolicy pic.twitter.com/A10o6apiLR— Debasish Das (@helloimddas) January 8, 2021
Signal and Telegram messaging apps are seeing a sudden increase in demand after larger rival WhatsApp’s updated terms of service raised eyebrows on social media. first i will tell you what is signal and telegram?
Signal Messenger, LLC, is a software organization that was founded by Moxie Marlinspike and Brian Acton in 2018 to take over the role of the Open Whisper Systems project that Marlinspike founded in 2013. Its main focus is the development of the Signal app and the Signal Protocol. The organization is funded by the non-profit Signal Foundation, and all of its products are published as free and open-source software. Signal has seen a surge in users since the last couple of years, and has also been praised from the likes of Edward Snowden.
The app has put on an App Privacy label to assure users that the platform does not collect any user data. The Wall Street Journal reported that Signal does not log much information (metadata) about the nature of the messages themselves. "Signal makes it a point to keep as little data as possible while still being able to provide service," said Carnegie Mellon University professor of computer science Lujo Bauer.
The other app that can be used as an alternative is Telegram. Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it's super-fast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers. The platform like Signal and WhatsApp provides a cross-platform solution for messaging with end-to-end encryption.
Some privacy activists questioned the "accept our data grab or get out" move on Twitter, and suggested users to switch to apps like Signal and Telegram. More than 100,000 users installed Signal across the app stores of Apple and Google in the last two days, while Telegram picked up nearly 2.2 million downloads, according to data analytics firm Sensor Tower.
Signal’s popularity shot up further on Thursday after it was endorsed by Elon Musk, who has one of the most-followed accounts on Twitter, and by the micro-blogging site’s top boss Jack Dorsey.
Use Signal— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
However, On September 28, 2018, Facebook disclosed details of a security breach which affected 50 million users. The vulnerability originated from the "view as" feature which can be used to let users see what their profiles look like to other people.
The $5 billion penalty against Facebook is the largest ever imposed on any company for violating consumers' privacy and almost 20 times greater than the largest privacy or data security penalty ever imposed worldwide. It is one of the largest penalties ever assessed by the U.S. government for any violation.