What's up with WhatsApp?
What's up with WhatsApp? | Podcast | The Guardian | 29 Jan 2021 | 20m 42s
The privacy update relates specifically to features that allow users to message and interact with businesses. However, Facebook doesn't have a terrific track record when it comes to privacy. Some say it's the thin end of yet another privacy wedge and its difficult to ignore the fact that WhatsApp founder Jan Koum left Facebook over privacy and encryption disagreements.
Though WhatsApp has delayed the update1 that has caused both confusion and anger among users, it will be interesting to see whether this brouhaha signals a more substantial shift away from WhatsApp. .. and Facebook, for that matter.
A nerve has been struck hard and even if Facebook is completely 'innocent' the optics, as they say, are pretty awful. Facebook has a mountain to climb, perhaps several, if it's to regain the trust of its users ... something in short supply when it comes to big data tech giants and privacy.
So, which messaging app best protects your privacy? Do you care? Does it matter?
1 From 8 Feb to 15 May 2021
- Does not collect data, only your phone number
- Free, no ads, funded by nonprofit Signal Foundation
- Fully open-source
- Data linked to you: Name, phone number, contacts, user ID
- Free, forthcoming Ad Platform and premium features, funded mainly by founder
- Only partially open-source
- Data linked to you: Too much to list (see below)
- Free; business versions available for free, funded by Facebook
- Not open-source, except for encryption
Other apps to consider
Discord | Discord
Discord | Wikipedia
Viber | Viber
Viber | Wikipedia
Snapchat | Snapchat
Snapchat | Wikipedia
KakaoTalk | KakaoTalk
KakaoTalk | Wikipedia
Keybase | Keybase
Keybase | Wikipedia
Signal vs. WhatsApp vs. Telegram: Major security differences between messaging apps | Cnet | 29 Jan 2021
Fleeing WhatsApp for Better Privacy? Don't Turn to Telegram | Wired | 27 Jan 2021
Is it time to leave WhatsApp – and is Signal the answer? | The Guardian | 24 Jan 2021
WhatsApp changes: Signal messaging platform restored after surge prompts outage | BBC News | 17 Jan 2021