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Strong Signal: Anand Mahindra bats for app amid WhatsApp privacy concerns

Signal app's popularity shot up after it was endorsed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Twitter's Jack Dorsey.

January 10, 2021 / 01:14 PM IST

Anand Mahindra, the chairman of Mahindra Group, is the latest to sign up for the Signal messaging app, being dubbed as a secure alternative to the Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

"Have installed Signal messaging. Maybe soon there will be a #signalwonderbox," tweeted Mahindra, who has 8.3 million followers on the micro-blogging site.

Signal has seen a sudden increase in downloads after rival WhatsApp updated its terms of service, asking users to agree to let owner Facebook Inc and its subsidiaries collect user data, including their phone number and location.

Also read Signal, Telegram see demand spike as new WhatsApp terms stir debate

It also said users would have to agree to the new terms and policy by February 8, 2021 to continue using WhatsApp.

It kickstarted a spate of conversations and memes over WhatsApp's alleged sharing of user information with Facebook.

Also read: WhatsApp says latest update does not change its data-sharing practices with Facebook

Signal's popularity further shot up after it was endorsed by Elon Musk, one of the most-followed users accounts on Twitter, and by the micro-blogging site's founder Jack Dorsey.

In a blog, Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov said Facebook's WhatsApp had switched to covert marketing and the messaging app had detected bots that spread inaccurate information about Telegram on social media.

Explained: How does WhatsApp alternative Signal work and why are people moving to it? All your questions answered

Durov slammed Facebook and asked the company to "respect" its users. "I hear Facebook has an entire department devoted to figuring out why Telegram is so popular. Imagine dozens of employees working on just that full-time," Durov said in a post on his Telegram channel.

"I am happy to save Facebook tens of millions of dollars and give away our secret for free: respect your users," he said.

Read: WhatsApp Messenger new terms: Best privacy-focused apps and services

Signal app, too, joined in, sending out a series of tweets. "Look at what you've done," it tweeted and carried a picture of the app showing it as the number one free app on the app stores across markets like India, Germany, France, Austria, Finland, Hong Kong and Switzerland.

In another tweet, it said: "There are no Terms of Service for a mother's love", taking a dig at the ongoing controversy.
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first published: Jan 10, 2021 01:12 pm