Encrypted messaging app signal sees popularity increase following WhatsApp privacy policy update

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The encrypted messaging app Signal faced big delays in verifying phone numbers for new accounts on Thursday due to a sudden increase in people trying to join the platform.
In messages posted from its official Twitter account, the nonprofit Signal Foundation said the verification codes were deferred across multiple cellular networks, and resolve the backlog as quickly as possible.

While the problem is now said to have been resolved, Signal’s surge in signups followed recent privacy policy changes highlighted by rival messaging platform WhatsApp.
On Wednesday, WhatsApp began rolling out its latest terms and privacy policy, which allows the popular messaging app to share a significant amount of user data with Facebook. The changes, which are expected to take effect on February 8, 2021, are mandatory and users will not be able to continue using WhatsApp unless they agree to the terms.

Users who agree to the terms can expect their WhatsApp account registration and phone number, transaction data, service information, interaction information, mobile device information, IP address and other data to be shared with Facebook.

Facebook a dit The edge updated terms for messaging with businesses and nothing to change for regular users, but the lack of an opt-out option and the volume of data sharing highlighted by the updated policy have raised concerns confidentiality issues.

Last month, WhatsApp publicly protested Apple’s requirement that developers submit information about the user data they collect for privacy labels on the App Store, saying it could give its app courier a competitive disadvantage.

The surge in Signal users was also linked to tweets posted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who recently became the richest person in the world. As indicated by The edge, Musk continued his trend of criticizing Facebook with a Twitter post Wednesday night, following the attack on the U.S. Capitol building.
Musk shared a meme suggesting the founding of Facebook ultimately led to the events of the day, and followed up with a tweet suggesting his 41.5 million voters are “using Signal,” presumably instead of a product owned by Facebook like WhatsApp. Musk’s suggestion was later retweeté by Edward Snowden, another huge Signal fan.

Notably, the Signal Foundation was co-founded and funded by Brian Acton, the former co-founder of WhatsApp who left the company after it was taken over by Facebook in 2014. Acton then urged his Twitter followers to delete facebook.
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