Quit Whatsapp for Signal? Which is more Private & Secure?

It would be so awful for us if we don’t speak about the current controversy regarding Whatsapp’s privacy policy and about Signal messenger, being a Signal user since a few years before. And this post is regarding the questions as to whether you should stop using Whatsapp and switch to other applications.

First of all, the Facebook group of companies is one of the biggest collectors of data that could correspond to our behavior. It’s been like that for quite some time now and with the recent Instagram update they made it possible to integrate Facebook Messenger and Instagram and they’ll probably do the same with Whatsapp too.

What’s with the latest update on WhatsApp’s privacy policy?

Well I’d say there’s not need for immediate panic if you weren’t panicking all these years. Maybe you’re like, I don’t want them to know what I’m talking about, I don’t want them to read my texts, I don’t want them to see the pictures I share. This is regarding personal chats and till now WhatsApp says that it’ll be end to end encrypted, meaning they won’t access our chats with another WhatsApp user. No worries there. 

With the new policy update, it’s like a confession that WhatsApp is making regarding data sharing with Facebook. It is inevitable considering that Facebook owns WhatsApp. It is then obvious that they share data with Facebook and Facebook-owned companies for more personalized ads and user-friendliness. If you’re using WhatsApp payment, it’ll share payment details with Facebook companies/ businesses and use their tech and infrastructure.

What’s the actual concern?

Data capitalism or Surveillance Capitalism, to be precise.
Tech giants hold massive data regarding geographies and populations. These data are not really personal communication between 2 individuals.
It’s the data about the data that’s valuable. Like, how long are people spending time texting in groups, how long are people making calls, what internet providers are they using, how many groups they’re part of what groups they are, their phone make, serial number, etc.
This might sound like it’s not a problem because hey, they’re not using my personal information right ? Wrong. It’s this data that advertisers need. It’s with this data that companies can actually have an effect on our likes and eventually in our decisions. As a result, tech data giants can make significant difference in markets, economies, elections and even personal needs and wants.
This is the real problem at hand.

Should I uninstall WhatsApp?

Well, it’s a long answer. I’ll try to talk about practicality.
If you’re using Facebook and Instagram, with linked phone number and text and call your friends there, uninstalling WhatsApp doesn’t really make any difference. Linking phone number is actually a good practice to prevent unauthorized access to our accounts. There’s that!

You might have a lot of groups of friends, family, work and maybe groups for your hobbies. It’s hard to get rid of that all of a sudden and maybe practically impossible for many. Just uninstalling doesn’t change anything. If we want to remove our data with WhatsApp, we should go to Whatsapp settings and delete our accounts. Even that won’t delete all of our data because WhatsApp will retain the communication we’ve had with our friends in it if they are still using the service.
The truth is that, linking data to unimaginable depths is now a casual thing!

Courtesy : https://www.guidingtech.com/uninstall-whatsapp/

Now what about signal?

We’ve been using signal for quite a lot of years now, and it’s the most private and secure messenger that you can have today. It’s totally cool. It’s got everything like WhatsApp and even a lot more. It doesn’t collect any hardware, user demographics or any other profitable data and of course it won’t collect chats either. Everything is stored in your application itself, hence, no other applications can have access to them. It is already a better chat application if we’re concerned with privacy or security. It also have messenger option for desktop Check out signal and more about them here.

Just tell me what to do.

Okay. You may stop using Whatsapp for personal chats. Simply because you have other applications that offers more security and privacy (which does not fall into the category of surveillance corporates like Facebook,Google,Amazon etc).
Unavoidable groups can stay for a while until the transition is made to other apps. Try to minimise personal communications using Whatsapp, try to minimise personal groups in Whatsapp. Try to avoid using Whatsapp pay.

Wait you just said WhatsApp won’t use my personal chats or pictures? Now why should I shift my personal chats to other apps like signal?

Okay, it is a little confusing.  It doesn’t make any difference if we delete WhatsApp accounts now!
These thoughts should’ve been there throughout the years of using WhatsApp and the measures advised here are not because of this policy update. Privacy and security researchers have been telling this for years now. 
All we can do is, to slowly stop using the service that asks for a whole bunch of permissions and takes information without explicitly asking permission, to voice our concern for better privacy laws in our countries, and to pay attention to the permissions that we’re granting to applications. This shift from one platform to other sends a good message to the tech giants. Probably they’ll even come up with other gimmicks soon, and then we’ll talk about that!

This being said, if this WhatsApp policy update scares you, don’t even try checking the policies of Google!!

If you choose to take a backup of your WhatsApp chats in cloud, it’ll be stored in Google clouds (or iclouds if you’ve chosen it) and that backup is not end-to-end encrypted.

More on scarier Google data collection some other time. (Check our article on Google’s Virtual Card)

Privacy awareness is necessary. We hope you all will stay critical of every service we make use of.

Tl;Dr: reduce using WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram for personal messaging. This privacy policy is mainly concerning businesses and interaction with business account holders. 

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