WhatsApp or Signal: Which app is secure to use

Photo Source: MessengerPeople

The new privacy policy of WhatsApp has kicked up a storm. There have been major issues about the data collection of the instant messaging app’s which is larger than other apps. WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook has raised security concerns and now the former will share more data with the latter.

With the increasing doubts, there has been buzz about shifting to other apps such as Telegram and Signal. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, “Use Signal” tweet has also led to a landslide signup for Signal app which appears to be the most private messaging app. As per the privacy details highlighted on the Apple app store, Signal app does not collect any user data.

Signal is a well-known messaging app which is privacy-focused and used widely by security experts, privacy researchers, journalists and academics around the world. The Signal protocol also underpins WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, though one main difference is that Signal is an open source whereas WhatsApp is not an open source.

The app store data indicates that the Messenger app receives the most data, followed by WhatsApp. The list of data collected by both the apps includes users’ purchase history, financial information, location details, phone number, email address, contacts and usage data, among others.

In addition to these, Messenger also collects user’s photos, videos and audio data, search and browsing history and other sensitive information.

Signal collects no data whatsoever it may be as compared to WhatsApp or Messenger. The only personal data stored by Signal is the user’s phone number and it makes no attempt to link that to the user’s identity. Telegram acquires contact information, contacts and user ID which is still less as compared to the data collected by the companies owned by Mark Zuckerberg.

WhatsApp has around 400 million users in India and it has given a deadline to these users till February 8, 2021 to accept the new policy or else delete your account.

Signal said the verification codes for signing up were delayed because of the unexpected influx of the new users. The surge is believed to be caused because of Elon Musk’s endorsement of the app yesterday.

“We are working with carriers to resolve this as quickly as possible,” the non-profit foundation said on Thursday in a tweet. The issue has been resolved now.


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