With the growing apprehensions, there has been buzz about switching to other apps like Telegram and Signal. Tesla CEO Elon Musk's "Use Signal" tweet also led to a landslide signup for Signal app, which seems to be the most private messaging app and doesn't collect any user data, as per the privacy details highlighted on the Apple app store.
Signal is a well-known privacy-focused messaging app, that is widely used by security experts, privacy researchers, academics, and journalists around the world. The Signal protocol also underpins WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption, although one key difference is that Signal is open source, while WhatsApp is not.
The app store data shows that the Messenger app acquires the most data, followed by WhatsApp. The list of data both apps collect includes users' purchase history, financial information, location details, contacts, phone number, email address, and usage data, among others.
Messenger, in addition to these, also collects your photos, videos and audio data, search and browsing history and other sensitive information.
As compared to WhatsApp or Messenger, Signal collects no data whatsoever. The only personal data Signal stores is your phone number, and it makes no attempt to link that to your identity. Telegram collects contact information, contacts and user ID which is still minuscule compared to the data the Mark Zuckerberg-owned companies collect.
WhatsApp is giving its 400 million users in India a deadline of February 8, 2021 to accept the new policy or delete your account.
Signal said the verification codes for signing up was delayed due to the unprecedented influx of new users. The surge is believed to be caused by Elon Musk's endorsement of the app yesterday.
"We are working with carriers to resolve this as quickly as possible," the non-profit foundation said in a tweet on Thursday. The issue has been resolved now.