About 7.5 million people downloaded Signal following WhatsApp announcement that it will force its users to share their personal data. WhatsApp is a messaging software system that prides itself in allowing its users to send end-to-end encrypted messages and phone calls.
Recently, the company announced that users will have to agree to new terms by February 8, in which Facebook, its parent company, will get access to peoples’ personal information, including, phone numbers, and location, among other things. Users are able to delete the messaging service if they do not agree with the new terms. WhatsApp reported that more than 2 billion people used its software in 2020.
TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher has been active on Twitter regarding the information on the comparisons of privacy across different platforms.
“Signal and Telegram are now better alternatives if you are concerned about your privacy,” tweeted Butcher. There has been a 4,200% spike in downloads of Signal software between January 6 and January 10.
On their website, the company has said: “The global pandemic has made clear that businesses need fast and efficient ways to service their customers and make sales. WhatsApp has become a simple and convenient resource in this time. More than 175 million people every day message a WhatsApp Business account. Our research shows people prefer to message a business to get help and they’re more likely to make a purchase when they can do so.”
With many users fearing that their private information will be leaked and accessed, Whatsapp has urged the public to not listen to rumours. The company said that new changes are not going to affect the privacy of messages between friends and family. Instead, the changes are related to messaging a business on Whatsapp, which is only optional.
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