How it started vs how it’s going 😅 pic.twitter.com/ERiFpZUz6c— Signal (@signalapp) January 14, 2021
After the announcement, mobile users started looking for WhatsApp-alternative apps including Telegram and Signal and there’s been a great upward trend in the downloads of these apps due to the growing privacy concerns regarding WhatsApp.
Yesterday, Signal shared a tweet announcing that verification codes are delayed across various cell services as so many people are trying to sign up for the platform right now. Here’s the tweet:
Everyone should be able to register without delay again. Thanks to all of the carriers who flipped the right switches so that people can keep switching.— Signal (@signalapp) January 7, 2021
It’s also worth mentioning that Signal was co-founded and funded by WhatsApp founder Brian Action who has been publicly criticizing Facebook’s privacy practices and encouraging people to delete Facebook.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk, who’s the richest person in the world shared a tweet on his Twitter account with over 41 million followers advising users to start using Signal.
Use Signal— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
As reported by The Verge, a Facebook spokesperson said that the changes in the policy ‘’are designed to address data sharing between Facebook and WhatsApp with regard to messaging with businesses, and that nothing is effectively changing with regard to consumer chats.’’
The company said that it announced these changes in October when it introduced new customer service and shopping features for WhatsApp.
While PCMag reports that new users haven’t been provided with an opt-out option for years, Facebook also said that it will ‘honor’ users’ opt-out decision.
In the meantime, WhatsApp won’t share the data of users living Europe with Facebook for ad-targeting, said Niamh Sweeney, Director of Policy for WhatsApp, EMEA.
3/5 There are no changes to WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices in the Europe arising from this update. It remains the case that WhatsApp does not share European Region WhatsApp user data with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products or ads.— Niamh Sweeney (@NiamhSweeneyNYC) January 7, 2021
”The update does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world. WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy. We are communicating directly with users through WhatsApp about these changes so they have time to review the new policy over the course of the next month.”