WhatsApp ‘updates’ privacy policy to share user data with Facebook, Elon Musk says ‘use’ Signal instead

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Updated: January 08, 2021 1:47 PM

Musk’s disagreements with Mark Zuckerberg-founded company are no secret.

elon musk on whatsapp privacy policy update signal appMusk did not name Facebook or WhatsApp in the tweet.

Elon Musk vs Faceboook: Across the world, people have received the updated terms of service and privacy policy of Facebook-owned WhatsApp. According to these changes, the instant messaging platform would be required to share more data with Facebook. What’s more is that in order to continue using WhatsApp after February 8, 2021, users would have to accept these changes, leaving them with no other choice. Now, serial tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has tweeted a simple post as his solution – use Signal. Musk’s disagreements with Mark Zuckerberg-founded company are no secret, and earlier on Thursday, he had even posted an image on domino effect on Twitter, suggesting that the violence that took place at the Washington-based US Capitol was the responsibility of Facebook.

Signal: What Elon Musk’s tweet means

Musk was telling users to move to an alternative instant messaging platform called Signal, a messaging app that focuses on user privacy. The platform is popular and is extensively used by several types of users including academics, journalists, privacy researchers as well as security experts. An open source platform, Signal also offers end-to-end encryption like WhatsApp.

The Elon Musk effect: Surge in users

In true testament of the effect of Elon Musk, Signal has witnessed a significant boom in the number of new users signing up on the messaging platform, Signal said. The company added the boost is so significant that it has been facing delays in verifying the phone numbers of the new users. The boost being witnessed by the not-for-profit platform is also partly due to WhatsApp’s own decision to bring new changes and forcing users to accept them.

Still, Musk, who has now surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world, did not name Facebook or WhatsApp in the tweet, leaving it open to interpretation and speculation as to whether it was even meant as an alternative to the social media giant’s messaging app, or just a random well-timed suggestion to his 41.6 million followers on the microblogging site.

WhatsApp privacy policy change

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has been facing severe backlash due to its updated privacy policy, mainly due to the fact that the updated policy no longer indicates that users would be able to choose whether they want their data to be shared with Facebook or not. Instead, the policy highlights how the user data would be shared by WhatsApp with its parent company.

However, much like Facebook, the WhatsApp privacy policy is also trying to justify the collection of this huge amount of data as a manner of improving the user experience, especially with regards to the services it provides and for marketing.

It seems that even though Facebook has been criticised several times for its stance on user data privacy, the social media giant is not in the mood to back out any time soon.

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