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Signal goes with the tagline 'Say hello to privacy'. (Photo: Twitter @signalapp)

Red ‘Signal’ for WhatsApp? Musk, Mahindra ‘say hello to privacy’

It seems that WhatsApp new privacy policy has triggered a virtual stampede across the world with even business tycoons like Elon Musk, Anand Mahindra and Vijay Shekhar Sharma also joining an alternative messaging app Signal. And the US-based cross platform encrypted messaging service Signal, an app created by cryptographer Moxie Marlinspike, has become their favourite to install instead. Those who are opting for the Signal app are urging others also to join the bandwagon.

Signing up for Signal, Anand Mahindra, the chairman of Mahindra Group tweeted: “Have installed Signal messaging. Maybe soon there will be a #signalwonderbox.”

Signal’s popularity further shot up after it was endorsed by the world’s richest person Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

When the billionaire entrepreneur asked his Twitter followers to “use Signal”, shares of a completely unrelated Texas-based technology company focusing on healthcare and industrial applications – Signal Advance – surged on January 7.

“Is this what stock analysts mean when they say that the market is giving mixed Signals? It’s understandable that people want to invest in Signal’s record growth, but this isn’t us. We’re an independent 501c3 and our only investment is in your privacy,” Signal tweeted.

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has joined the list of leaders urging people to move away from WhatsApp.

“They say, market has power. We are the largest market. Here in India WhatsApp / Facebook are abusing their monopoly & taking away millions of users’ privacy for granted. We should move on to Signal app NOW. It is upto us to become victim or reject such moves,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted.

The app, which being dubbed as a secure alternative to the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, has the tagline ‘Say hello to privacy’. It was developed by Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC, a non-profit company. The Signal Foundation was created by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton and Signal Messenger CEO Moxie Marlinspike.

The signal app is seeing a sudden increase in demand after WhatsApp had revised its terms for users. thereafter which has received criticism from a multitude of users globally

Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Saturday said its latest update describes business communication and does not change its data-sharing practices with the social media giant.

Also Read: WhatsApp ‘warning’! Accept new privacy policy or else…

Earlier this week, WhatsApp had started rolling out in-app notifications to users about an update in its Terms of Service and privacy policy regarding how it processes user data and partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the social media giant’s products.

It also stated that users will have to agree to the new terms and policy by 8 February 2021, to continue using WhatsApp’s service.

Rival platforms like Signal and Telegram are reportedly seeing a surge in downloads in the wake of the development.

In a series of tweets, WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart sought to share his views on the matter. “It’s important for us to be clear, this update describes business communication and does not change WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with Facebook. It does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world,” he said.

“We’re in a competition on privacy with others and that’s very good for the world. People should have choices in how they communicate and feel confident that no one else can see their chats. Some people disagree with this, including some governments,” he said.

The tweets, however, received varied responses from users.

The signal app too joined the conversation with its series of tweets. One of the tweets said: “Look at what you’ve done” and carried a picture of the app showing as the number one free app on the app stores.

In another tweet, it said: “There are no Terms of Service for a mother’s love”, taking a dig at the ongoing controversy.