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Sci-Tech
Friday Jan 08 2021
By
Web Desk

WhatsApp update: Here are two alternatives if you're concerned about privacy

By
Web Desk
Photo courtesy: International Business Times
  • Signal and Telegram viable alternatives for WhatsApp
  • Signal and Telegram rely on end-to-end encryption
  • Both apps show themselves as highly secure


WhatsApp on Wednesday unveiled its new policy and the app’s decision to announce the sharing of its data with Facebook has invited criticism from the users across the globe.

The users have become bothered by the new data-sharing agreement with Facebook due to the latter’s record on privacy and security.

For those worried about privacy and security concerns can opt for alternate Signal and Telegram.

Read more: WhatsApp updates its terms and services for users across the world

Here’s a look at the two alternative messaging platforms to WhatsApp:

Signal

Signal has seen a rise in its usage over the last couple of years for its encrypted communication. The platform, which supports all the features as WhatsApp, is available on iOS and Android.

According to Tech website 9to5 Mac, the platform is clear about its privacy policy. The platform has included multiple features to support privacy such as view-once media, Signal PIN, and more.

The platform is an independent nonprofit, which means that development is supported purely by donations from users.

Just like WhatsApp, Signal relies on end-to-end encryption for messaging, based on the Signal Protocol, and does not keep records of the user’s metadata.

Read more: WhatsApp’s first update for 2021 is here

The app has put on an App Privacy label to assure users that the platform does not collect any user data.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Signal does not log much information (metadata) about the nature of the messages themselves.

“Signal makes it a point to keep as little data as possible while still being able to provide service,” said Carnegie Mellon University professor of computer science Lujo Bauer told Wall Street Journal.

Telegram

The other app that can be used as an alternative is Telegram. The platform like Signal and WhatsApp provides a cross-platform solution for messaging with end-to-end encryption.

The platform claims that it is more secure than WhatsApp as it relies on MTProto protocol.

“Telegram is more secure than mass market messengers like WhatsApp and Line. We are based on the MTProto protocol, built upon time-tested algorithms to make security compatible with high-speed delivery and reliability on weak connections,” says the platform.

Read more: Record WhatsApp calls made on New Year's eve

It’s not just end-to-end encryption that the company uses, it says adding that the app also relies on a distributed infrastructure to ensure privacy.

“The relevant decryption keys are split into parts and are never kept in the same place as the data they protect,” the company explains.