I am writing this post so that I do not have to explain it again when someone asks me why I will stop using WhatsApp after May 15.
So, here are some points on why I prefer Signal over WhatsApp:
- Signal stores all the data locally and not in their servers. Unlike, WhatsApp.
- Signal is an open-source app which means that all its code is open to the public to see. This ensures that one can see where and how your data is being treated.
- Signal is Non-profit.
- I cannot trust Facebook with my data due to the reputation it has. (Cambridge Analytica Scandal)
Counter Argument #1
Let me also address the most famous counter argument people give me: “How does it matter? Even if Facebook/WhatsApp see or send my data to anyone, I am not a spy.”
Why I care about not sending my data to anyone is because through my data someone could nudge me into doing things which they want me to do. Mostly this happens through advertising for selling products.
The advertising company would be aware that Arjun has interest in finance, so let us show him products related to that.
Now, such tactics would be used in such a way, which would be crafted by a team of scientist and psychologist who have done extensive research on how to make people click on ads.
Therefore, ads which I see would be “personalized” and that would lead to promotion of consumerism.
It happens to me a lot of time. Whenever I am watching YouTube and I get an advertisement of Domino’s Pizza (As I order a lot from there), most of the time I end up ordering pizza that day.
This is not it, also read about Cross platform tracking, where a company tracks you not only while you use their app but also when you use other apps installed on your phone.
This is the reason for recent heat building up between Apple and Facebook as Apple’s new policy would require Facebook to ask specific permissions before tracking.
Counter Argument #2
“Google is already doing it.” is the second most common argument I get.
Let me ask you one thing.
If two people are stabbing you and you get an opportunity to stop one of them, won’t you take the chance of stopping that person? Stopping that one person might save your life or at least improves the probability of it.
If you can switch to Signal you would be able to stop the second person who might be stabbing, you.
Counter Argument #3
“But their policy states that our data is safe and end to end encrypted”
Just think about this, what’s Facebook’s revenue model: ADVERTISING!
So even though currently they don’t advertise on WhatsApp (At least for now), it is still a gold mine of data for them and if Facebook gets access to WhatsApp’s data legally then I am sure that you are smart enough to know what can happen.
Currently I am taking a Contract Drafting class and I know that there can be many interpretations to a clause in a contract which can help a party to broaden the scope of activities included in it.
Ex: If a company mentions that “Currently there are no pending litigation.” they might be hiding the fact that someone would have just sent them a formal legal threat. As a legal threat does not fall under definition of litigation or what about arbitration, is that included? Just think about it.
There are many ways a lawyer can craft a clause in just a way that then can get what they want.
Currently, WhatsApp has achieved a critical mass that it is very difficult for anyone to leave WhatsApp. Therefore, they use this as their advantage can could push through any “clever” clause, which one would have to accept due to their strong position in market.
If you really care about your privacy, this is the time to act. As many well-known personalities have tweeted about making the switch, which has caught attention of many people. Hence, one could grab this opportunity and make the switch as there is a better probability of people accepting your opinion and making the switch as its trending these days.
Please note, if we currently chat on WhatsApp then I would recommend you to download Signal and shift our conversation there. As after May 15 2021, I will not be able to reply back on WhatsApp.
Update on this post: link