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Why messaging app Signal is surging in popularity right now

January 13, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22.6%. 1 min read.

Users have flocked to encrypted messaging app Signal by the millions in recent days — bringing it to the No. 1 spot on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store's top free apps lists this week.

New York (CNN Business)Users have flocked to encrypted messaging app Signal by the millions in recent days — bringing it to the No. 1 spot on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store's top free apps lists this week.

However, this particular bump in Signal's usership comes in the wake of confusion over an updated terms of service notification from Facebook-owned encrypted messaging service WhatsApp. Signal also received endorsements last week from several of Silicon Valley's biggest names, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

WhatsApp began notifying users last month of its updated terms of service and privacy policy, which people must agree to in order to keep using the app beyond February 8.

All private messages between individuals and most businesses on WhatsApp are protected by end-to-end encryption, meaning the app can't see them or share them with Facebook (users will be notified before chatting with a business where messages are not end-to-end encrypted).

WhatsApp's privacy policy states that user information it collects may be shared with other Facebook companies "to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings. "

While the policy isn't new, the dustup has drawn attention to WhatsApp's data sharing practices with Facebook which many people might not have read before clicking "agree. " That may be encouraging users to jump ship, with Signal proving to be the most popular alternative.

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