The official Twitter account of Signal, @signalapp tweeted a few hours ago that they were “barely able to register our excitement” as new users signed up in big numbers. “Verification codes are currently delayed across several providers because so many new people are trying to join Signal right now (we can barely register our excitement). We are working with carriers to resolve this as quickly as possible. Hang in there.” Since then, Signal has confirmed that registrations are now happening without delay and thanked carriers for helping users sign up quickly.
Apple, after they rolled out the new Privacy Labels on the App Store for the iPhone, iPad and Mac, now mandate app developers to clearly state what user data they collect or don’t collect from users. The App Store Privacy Labels will have three sections—Data used to track you, data linked to you and data that is not linked to you. Under each section will be bullet points listing the exact specifics about the data being collected, including contact info, health and fitness data, financial info, usage data, browsing history, location data, personal identifiers and search history. With this information available at a glance, a user can potentially make a more informed decision about whether they want to download a specific app on the iPhone or iPad or Mac, without falling down the data collection and privacy blackhole that became the norm over the years.
In the subsequent revelations, it turns out that WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger collect significantly more user data in comparison with similar instant messenger apps such as Signal and Apple’s own iMessage. This includes health and fitness data, financial info, search history, user content, browsing history and location data. Signal app does not collect any user data, as per the App Store Privacy Labels.
As authorities and the global community took stock in the aftermath of yesterday’s violence at the US Capitol in Washington at a time when the joint session of the Congress was certifying Joe Biden as the President-elect, Elon Musk tweeted an image with the caption “This is called the domino effect”. He did not name Facebook or WhatsApp at any stage in his tweets, but the image of the dominos referenced what Facebook started out as—a campus website to rate women. Facebook has been at the receiving end of a lot of criticism for allowing content to remain on the platform that has led to serious societal divisions within the US with regards to supporting or not supporting outgoing US President Donald Trump. The tweet that followed, which said “Use Signal” also didn’t name WhatsApp.
Earlier today, Elon Mus surpassed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man and is now valued around $188 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He has been quite nonchalant about it on social media though, with tweets saying, “How strange” and “Well, back to work…”