Signal and Telegram Seeing Huge Waves of New Users Amid WhatsApp Privacy Row


 

Signal saw a significant jump in new sign-ups after Elon Musk's tweet advising his followers to use the privacy-focused app, in the wake of concerns about WhatsApp's new privacy policy where it says it would share user data with Facebook. If you're using either Signal or Telegram you know that dozens of your contacts have been signing up for the messaging apps, and many WhatsApp groups are filled with conversations about switching platforms too. The rise in new sign-ups to Signal was apparently so big that verification codes with few network providers were getting delayed. The WhatsApp rival took to Twitter to confirm that it was getting many new requests for new join-ins. This sudden spurge had caused a delay in verification codes from network providers. The glitch was soon fixed and users should now be able to register without any problems. This comes at an opportune time for Signal, as WhatsApp is embroiled in a privacy controversy after it started notifying users to agree to new terms and policies. The fine-print suggested that data sharing with Facebook will become mandatory, but WhatsApp has now clarified that privacy policies for consumers remains unchanged. The new privacy policy change is addressed only to business accounts. Signal is an open-source messaging app that is privacy focused and is widely used by journalists, security experts, and academics across the globe. The Signal protocol also underpins WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption. Apart from Signal, there are also a lot of users who are seemingly moving away from WhatsApp and joining Telegram as well. Telegram also sends users a notification when their contacts join the platform, and if you were already a user, then you've probably been bombarded with notifications ever since the alarm about WhatsApp's new privacy policy, which also comes with the ultimatum that people won't be able to use the service after February 8, if they don't accept the new terms of service. However, WhatsApp has issued an official statement clarifying that its data-sharing practices with Facebook have not changed. The changes that will go into effect next month look to address data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook business accounts. The instant messaging platform says that nothing will change when it comes to consumer chats, i.e., for WhatsApp accounts not used for business purposes. In a detailed statement to The Verge, WhatsApp has offered clarity on what has really changed in its new privacy policy. Here is the full statement from WhatsApp published by The Verge: As we announced in October, WhatsApp wants to make it easier for people to both make a purchase and get help from a business directly on WhatsApp. While most people use WhatsApp to chat with friends and family, increasingly people are reaching out to businesses as well. To further increase transparency, we updated the privacy policy to describe that going forward businesses can choose to receive secure hosting services from our parent company Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp. Though of course, it remains up to the user whether or not they want to message with a business on WhatsApp. The update does not change WhatsApp's data sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world. WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people's privacy. We are communicating directly with users through WhatsApp about these changes so they have time to review the new policy over the course of the next month.

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