Which messenger app is the one for you?
An announcement by WhatsApp that it was making an update to its terms of service recently saw users leave in their droves to adopt alternative services such as Telegram and Signal.
However, the announcement was badly explained and WhatsApp has now been forced to delay the implementation of the new terms. Part of the panic was caused by a tweet from SpaceX and Tesla boss Elon Musk on 7th January when he advocated users to drop WhatsApp and use Signal.
WhatsApp has now published a new FAQ page on its website in response to this widespread backlash concerning its data-sharing procedures with Facebook. The issue was that users were concerned that the planned policy, due to come into effect on the 8th February, will mandate sharing of sensitive profile information with Facebook. This led to the exodus of users to Signal and Telegram who were worried that their chats and profile data would be shared.
The change to the terms of service was in fact designed to outline how businesses who use WhatsApp for customer service may store logs of its chats on Facebook servers.
“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data,” the company stated on their new FAQ page.
WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram all use end-to-end encryption in some portion of their app, meaning that if an outside party intercepts your texts, they should be scrambled and unreadable
Ultimately, if you are looking to change messenger platforms, don’t rush into it. Nothing has changed regarding your privacy on WhatsApp, but it’s always good to see what’s out there and try alternative apps if you want.