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WhatsApp privacy policy causes exodus to Signal


WhatsApp’s recent privacy policy ultimatum that gave users up to the 8th of February to agree to share their data with Facebook has caused many of its users to flee to Signal.

The fact that Signal could not keep up with requests for verification codes shows how people are reacting to WhatsApp and its new privacy policy.

For those who may not have come across Signal before, it’s a messaging app that is similar to WhatsApp. It offers end to end encryption, it had self-destructing messages long before WhatsApp rolled them out this year, Signal group chats are user-based rather than server-based meaning messages never leave your phone. This also ensures that the server can’t tell if a message was generated in a group or in a private chat. On top of that, Signal is open source, which means anyone to examine its source code under a GPLv3 licence for clients and AGPLv3 for the server.

The biggest thing of all (in this case) is that Signal doesn’t have an entity like Facebook pulling its strings. You can communicate relatively securely and without having to worry about Big Brother siphoning off your information in order to send you targetted ads.

Lastly, Signal is what WhatsApp was before the Facebook takeover, and many who prefer a (relatively) private and secure messaging service have long since abandoned WhatsApp for Signal or Telegram.

That being said, Signal may be a viable option for those abroad but not for Zimbabweans

As good as Signal is, the one thing it doesn’t have in Zim is a dedicated data bundle. This is a significant mark down for the app even though it has many upsides.

WhatsApp is also something familiar and an app that many people in the country use so… even with the new privacy policy I don’t see many people moving off it anytime soon.

You should check out: What Makes Signal More Secure Than WhatsApp?

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7 thoughts on “WhatsApp privacy policy causes exodus to Signal

  1. I was never a fan of the dedicated app bundles like WhatsApp etc. Aside from the MNO’s implementation which ranged from decent to useless, I have always felt that I would be better served with an actual data bundle despite the price difference. As for private messaging, I doubt most people in Zimbabwe would care all that much since WhatsApp has become the defacto way people communicate and the majority of them are not avid users of the internet in general.

  2. There is quite a number of people already on telegram. I think our network providers should consider providing data bundles for Telegram or for signal. I do not think it is a big deal. We can move over. Ads are boring. Indeed if they will overdo it like what they do on Facebook WhatsApp will hell to most people. Moreover those ads do eat up your data. Imagine like on YouTube, you will be forced to wait the 5sec to skip an ad. That’s robbery!

    1. And you have revealed the problem that will concern Zimbabwean people the most DATA is too EXPENSIVE! So people will be angry about data wasted on ad’s they have no interest in. Privacy is a concern for the rich we the poor are more concerned about the price of data 😂😂

  3. Meanwhile Telegram is all (ಠ _ ಠ)

    I think Econet has/had Telegram bundles. There are also a significant number of Zimbos already on it.

    In my opinion, most Zimbos don’t care about the privacy concerns. They will just keep on, keeping on.

  4. For Zimbabwean people the biggest concern is that DATA is too EXPENSIVE!. PRIVACY ? 🤷🏾‍♂️ MEH So the thought that Facebook will in the future serve up adverts in WhatsApp is the thing that will make people upset.
    Because when you are trying stretch that whatsap bundle you buy every month to the limit, the thought that your Data will now be chewed by adverts they are not interested in is enough to make a Zimbabweans blood boil.
    Privacy is a concern for the rich we the poor are more concerned about the price of data 😂😂

  5. Personally I am not angry about the policy changes.
    Because I am not able/willing to pay for WhatsApp. So if the owner of WhatsApp has figured out a way to let me keep using WhatsApp for ” Free” while he somehow makes a profit I really have no grounds to complain
    Because the truth of matter is only the Entitled rich children expect to get something for Free free. A grown-up knows that there is always a price to be paid.
    The question to ask yourself is the price worth it?

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