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News hardware & software 07 April 2021, 14:52

author: Ewelina Krzykala

Facebook's CEO Preferred to Use Signal

Mark Zuckerberg, known for not talking much about his private life, takes his privacy seriously. After his phone number was leaked, it was revealed that he registered an account with Signal, a competitor to Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Mark Zuckerberg used Signal. After his phone number was leaked in 2019, it was revealed that it was registered with WhatsApp's rival app;
  2. Unlike WhatsApp, Signal stores conversations locally on our device and does not share them with partners. This is why it is considered a much safer option;
  3. WhatsApp has lost quite a few users in recent times. First, most didn't like the app's declarations of integration with Facebook, then it was attacked by malware.

Signal has gained quite a few new users in recent months. Among them was Mark Zuckerberg himself, which seems quite surprising considering that it's a competing app for WhatsApp, the latter waging an uphill battle for users after the recently announced privacy policy changes. The fact that the founder of Facebook used Signal, surfaced thanks to a recent leak of data belonging to 533 million Facebook users, including Zuckerberg's phone number. As it turned out, the number was used to register an account on Signal. However, it is not known why the head of Facebook used this platform - whether he chose an app that puts a stronger emphasis on privacy, or maybe he only tested competing solutions.

Signal was created by a non-profit organization and, like WhatsApp, relies on an end-to-end encryption, an arrangement that offers greater degree of protection for sensitive personal or company data. In contrast to WhatsApp, however, Signal doesn't collect, store or share contacts with partners. And it was out of concern for his data that Zuckerberg, who doesn't particularly like to share his private life, may have used a rival messenger.

WhatsApp lost in the eyes of many users after the announcement that it would be more strongly integrated with Facebook. And then it only got worse. When malware impersonating the Huawei Mobile app spread among the users in just a few days, contributing to thousands of them losing data, many decided to abandon the app, which benefited Signal. The fact that Zuckerberg himself used Signal instead of WhatsApp certainly doesn't have a positive impact on the image of the other latter.

WhatsApp's updated privacy policy, which was originally set to roll out on February 8, was suspended after a sharp public reaction. It includes changes "related to optional business features on WhatsApp and provides greater transparency around data collection and use." It turns out that users who do not accept the changes to WhatsApp will be unable to read or send messages. The only thing they will be left with is receiving calls and notifications for a limited time. In addition, all data is to be sent automatically to Facebook. The situation was commented jokingly by the crew of Signal, writing:

"With the May 15th WhatsApp Terms of Service acceptance deadline fast approaching, Mark leads by example."

This means opponents of the changes imposed by WhatsApp are left with deleting their account, downloading the report, exporting their chat history and switching to another messenger with full encryption, just like Mark did.

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