Why is there a lot of noise around chat and video calling apps? Mark Zuckerberg, the owner and first man of Facebook, let down Elon Musk, currently the richest man in the world, and called on his followers on Twitter to switch to Signal, also a provider of chat services.
It all revolves around the use of personal data, their use or misuse. The data is, you’ve probably heard, the oil of the new age.
The greatest value of many companies that actually moderate the offer and manage their business. So, in this case, the data is what caused the unprecedented migrations of users from one chat application to another. It is important to know that Facebook, in addition to the eponymous social network and Instagram, a social network for exchanging photos and videos, also has WhatsApp, a chat application.
What Facebook now wants is to consolidate all the data that users provide using these applications. In order to further connect all their platforms, they decided to give up all those who do not agree to it. So, in fact, WhatsApp users have been told that they can stop using WhatsApp if they do not agree to the new terms.
It was this ultimatum that further angered users, and a few days ago, when the whole story was launched, a mass exodus from WhatsApp to alternative chat apps such as Signal and Telegram followed.
Thanks to EU regulations, citizens of the European Union and the United Kingdom are still spared these complications and, as Facebook reports, their WhatsApp data will not be integrated into Facebook, although they will also have to agree to new conditions and corrections that WhatsApp will ask.
Facebook, on the other hand, says it does not use WhatsApp information for these purposes in Europe due to negotiations with European data protection authorities. So for now, if Facebook’s statements can be trusted, EU citizens are safe from data integration.
Facebook explains data aggregation with a better user experience. Namely, it would “improve” the personalized offer of ads and feeds that is already happening, and if you use Facebook, you are already used to popping up ads related to your searches and interests that you have already expressed by clicking on that platform. Consolidating the data, simply put, would improve just that experience.
It would also allow, for example, if you bought something by clicking on Facebook, that seller can find you on WhatsApp. Conversations remain encrypted, which means that the content would not fall into the category of data collection, but it would be known for sure with whom and for how long you chat. True, most of this information is not unknown, but with your consent it would be used further. Many have nothing against the fact that platforms like Facebook are increasingly “taking care” of them, others are reluctant to share any form of personal data, and Europeans are, according to all research, the most sensitive when it comes to privacy. What is the alternative?
Elon Musk suggested Signal, and many chose Telegram as their new chat app. The signal, for example, experts point out, encrypts and metadata, which is extremely important in the context of privacy. What Signal knows about its customers is the phone number, the time of the activity, but not who you talked to.
In addition, it is an “open source”, which means that everyone can see the code and the way it works and thus point out the potential vulnerability of the system, and additionally non-profit organizations. According to experts, Telegram is less secure because it develops its own encryption and certain omissions have been shown, although it is still more secure than WhatsApp because it does not share data with Facebook.