With WhatsApp now requiring users to automatically share their data to Facebook, Elon Musk suggests another messaging app called Signal
Elon Musk on Signal
Elon Musk has previously spoken publicly about Facebook’s privacy concerns back in 2018. The billionaire not only removed his personal Facebook page but also those of his powerful companies like Tesla and SpaceX. He has also taken the long-fought battle into his own hands suggesting Signal to WhatsApp users.
Although both of the messaging apps are said to have a number of security bugs garnered over the years that have been resolved, WhatsApp is still known to openly collect user data sharing it to the app’s parent company Facebook. The app’s most recent policy now makes it even more obvious. Signal has quite a history of fighting against any entity that is asking for users’ data and even adds new features to further anonymize this data where possible.
What is Signal?
Signal is known as a one-tap install app and can easily be found in the normal marketplaces like Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. This app is said to work just like any other messaging app and is known as an open source development providing free of charge and non-profit services from its own Signal Foundation. The app has also popularly been promoted by the high-profile privacy icon known as Edward Snowden.
Signal’s core focus is to allow users to send audio clips, pictures, videos, and most importantly, texts that are all protected by the app’s end-to-end encryption. After users verify their phone number, they can independently verify other Signal users’ shown identity. Users can also use this app to reportedly make both video and voice calls from either one person to another or group calls.
How encryption works
According to CNET’s Laura Hautala’s explainer (CNET reported this story) is a lifesaver for those that want to really protect their conversations using encryption. Despite the ongoing buzz around WhatsApp, which is popularly used in smartphones like the iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and many others, the end-to-end encryption app works in a very simple way.
Unlike other normal SMS messaging apps, Signal garbles up the user’s messages before the app sends them. The information is then ungarbled only by those who are the verified recipient of the message. This stops other entities from accessing the conversations that the users have between one another and minimizes the risk of user information being used against them. The ultimate selling point of Signal is that it does not store the users’ data and keeps its encryption quite prowess. Now that Elon Musk and Edward Snowden’s endorsements have been made public, Signal could potentially grow in users.