WhatsApp alternative Signal claims to have “state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption” as part of its service, which prevents messages from being read by those who are not the intended recipient protecting the data of its users.
For the record, WhatsApp messages are also encrypted, in that Facebook will not be able to see the actual contents for the shared message however, the app collects a lot of other data, such as account registration information, like your phone number, transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others, including businesses when using the service, and mobile device information which all can be shared with its parent company, Facebook.
In response to users concerns WhatsApp advised the update will not affect the privacy of messages sent to friends and family. Clarifying that the update will only include “changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.”
WhatsApp also communicated that any data shared with Facebook is used to help improve infrastructure, promote safety and security and refine services by making suggestions or personalizing features and content. This could also include integration between Facebook-branded products and WhatsApp.
Despite the surge in Signal and Telegram downloads, it seems for the time being that WhatsApp has not seen a decline in usage as most of those who are downloading and using Signal or Telegram will continue to use WhatsApp as that is where most of current contacts are. However, as both of these new messaging platforms gain popularity users may decide to switch rather than share.
by Calli Gregg