I guess you’ve heard it all over and over again about the Facebook privacy scandal. There’s been a lot of focus on the scandal itself and Mark Zuckerberg testifying before the Senate. I have wrote a few posts about it as well.
What not to use and why
Here’s some examples of messenger apps that you really should’n use if you care about your privacy:
I guess you heard enough by now, but there’s a slight possibility that you’ve missed out the really juicy stuff. So, what happens to your messages on Facebook Messenger? Aside from what you for sure expect, that the message is delivered to your recipient(s)? Facebook also scans your message in order to “stop abusive behavior” they said. There are some theories that Facebook also scans in order to map interests and such for advertising. Myself haven’t found any real evidence or statements from the company though. However it does seem like a no-brainer to me at least. One of Facebooks well known superpowers are to make exact mappings for advertising purposes.
Even though it seems like Snapchat are more sensitive about privacy in some senses I think that Snapchat is an unsane service. It’s default is to delete snaps and chats. From a privacy perspective – lots of thumbs up! But think about it – that might be very bad when it comes to how the service is being used by it’s users. Snapchat is well known to be one of the favorite services for bullies in school environments. When an abusive message is seen, it’s deleted and that makes it hard to proof that one has been bullied. The kids being bullied of course has a tendency of being on Snapchat, they desperately wants to blend in and belong. The idea of delete by default is just so wrong, even though privacy gets better.
More and more are using Instagram to send direct and group messages to each other. I’m guessing that’s due to that it’s harder for youths under the age of thirteen to register and use the service. But Instagram is owned and operated by Facebook and gets more and more integrated. And think about it for a while – why wouldn’t Facebook use all of their analysis technologies on Instagram as well?
Okay, the idea of Whatsapp is that the messages are being encrypted. This means that not even Facebook (who owns Whatsapp) can’t read the content of the messages. What’s so bad about it then? Well, what Facebook can find out is all the rest. For example, who you communicate with, when, from where and so on. It’s still failry easy to see patterns and mine data from there.
What’s the Signal story then?
The idea behind Signal (or Signal Private Messenger as it’s really named) is to allow you to communicate private, for real. The main difference between Signal and
the services I’ve mentioned above is pretty simple: Every single one of the rest are being operated by for-profit enterprises. That means, every single one of them wants to make money on their everyday services. And since they’re not charging you, it’s pretty obvious that they’ll try to make profit out of your messaging activities. One way or another.
Signal is being developed and operated by Open Whisper Systems and it’s developed as open source. One of the main pitches for Signal is that OWS was founded by Moxie Marlinspike who is well known for his security research in encryption. The second one is that Edward Snowden, the well known NSA whistle blower is using Signal to communicate. And let’s face it, that guy is very eager to keep his communications secret.
Signal is connected to your phone number, and if you give it access to your contacts you’ll find out which ones of them who also uses Signal and you can communicate securely with. If you’re using an Android phone, you might even set Signal to be your default SMS app.
Just try it – I use and enjoy the app and the service.
Find out more: https://signal.org/