This new wave of WhatsApp privacy has opened the can of worms that Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg are. A shitnest of greedy, obsessive and compulsive data miners. Bitcoin GPU miners are babies compared to what Facebook extract and sell, and they do not sell to innocent mum and pop shops that make a living from products on Facebook. They sell much more detailed data to companies like the defunct Cambridge Analytica.
Everyone know that Facebook and their affiliates disrespect user privacy. People with brains started to look elsewhere to message their friends and families. There are many that you can download, from insidious data miners (including WhatsApp) to the most secure LibreChat, Briar and Session. The last two are not business friendly. Family friendly yes, but teenage friend friendly, and no ways. Well, that is what I was told by a teenager of what they think of it. We are accustomed to bells and whistles when chatting, not just text like in the old days. We have a need to express ourselves without using language. Urgh, language is such an obstacle in communication these days. Emojis tell a thousand words.
We are social animals and the ability to communicate faster and without delay fits with our social needs. The fear-of-missing-out meme or FOMO is not there for nothing. So once one messenger app becomes the most popular in a society, nobody wants to change. FOMO will prevent more users migrating to other apps, which is unfortunate. Thre is a resistance to move away from the communication platform that your closest friends have. Zuckerberg and all his type know that people will not migrate, and those that do, will come back. People who switch, base it on moral grounds.
But, what about the alternatives, are you moving away to safer ground?
Apparently, there are two well-known, popular alternatives to Whatsapp; Telegram and Signal.
Telegram: The best thing about Telegram is that it is not connected to Facebook. It is not completely open source, so nobody knows what is collected. Telegram claims to collect your name, phone number, contacts and user ID. If you are privacy conscious likeme, that that is too much. They are also planning to show ads in the near future, a big no again. For ads to work properly, you should know your customer. A shotgun approach is innevective. So in order for Telegram to show effective ads, like those shown by Google, they must read what you are typing. That is the only way to increase ‘user experience’ (as Google describes it). It is sick, Google tells you that you will not have a good experience on the web if they don’t collect your data and throw ads in your face. At the end Telegram will follow the Google and Facebook business model to be profitable.
Signal: Signal is open source. If you want to know how it works, analyse their software, which is freely available. If there was anything dubious, someone would have said something by now. Signal only collects your number, nothing else. The Signal Foundation funds Signal, which is a non-profit organisation. The Signal encryption code is so good, WhatsApp is using it. Zuckerburg is too lazy and stingy to develop his own encryption that he borrows, or rather in his case, steals from the GitHub to drive his own app. I don’t agree with everything Signal is doing. Especially, if they want to incorporate Bitcoin type payments. The other thing I do not agree with is that groups are encrypted. In my opinion groups with more than 20 people should be open to scrutiny.
The best chat apps are those that do not require an external service to collect and digest your data. Two of the most popular ones are Briar and Session. Off course they are unknown, they do not profit from you. Chats are secure through proper encryption, and all your messages go directly from your phone to the other phone. To start texting with either Briar or Session, you must share an encryption key with the other user. You only have to share the encryption key once. But who wants to go through all that effort. It is easier just sit on your arse and give all your information to Facebook so that they can use it against you. And we all piss in our pants if they do.
So it goes.