WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Facebook vs Signal – What personal data apps collect

I think it's best to look at how the company makes its money. If that interest is in conflict with yours, that's a warning sign

Whatapp used to be venture capital funded and got sold to Facebook. Facebook is now looking to make their money back by using the data, same as with Facebook itself.

Telegram is where Whatapp used to be. They have an investor who is funding it. Once he no longer wants to do that, or sells it, beware.

Signal, while not immune, is at least funded by donations and is backed by an organization with a good track record in promoting consumer friendly practices.

Right now, telegram has the best user experience, followed by Whatapp and closely followed by signal.

If signal has enough for you, it's the safer choice, if you need the kitchen sink, telegram is likely better.

O and don't forget discord. Your community, your rules and a direct financial model. And it too difficult to be used by idiots.
 
see by the app code what information is sent to the servers?
You understand correctly. Even if the server-side is closed, and the client relies on various APIs for its funtionality, the client app's source code would tell you what data it is collecting and sending to the server via the API.

The server can't magically reach into your phone and get data, it gets it from the client app.

I think it's best to look at how the company makes its money. If that interest is in conflict with yours, that's a warning sign

Whatapp used to be venture capital funded and got sold to Facebook. Facebook is now looking to make their money back by using the data, same as with Facebook itself.

Telegram is where Whatapp used to be. They have an investor who is funding it. Once he no longer wants to do that, or sells it, beware.

Signal, while not immune, is at least funded by donations and is backed by an organization with a good track record in promoting consumer friendly practices.

Right now, telegram has the best user experience, followed by Whatapp and closely followed by signal.

If signal has enough for you, it's the safer choice, if you need the kitchen sink, telegram is likely better.

O and don't forget discord. Your community, your rules and a direct financial model. And it too difficult to be used by idiots.
Just to add, have a look at something like Threema. The app is run by a Swiss company. You pay a bit to use it (R52 once off) but then you have largely whatsapp-like functionality. And you are the client, not the merchandise. I much prefer this model, even over Signal's if I'm honest.

The problem is that everyone is so used to getting free stuff that they don't realise that running a decent service costs money.
 
People want privacy, then Signal is the best option. People have a choice. The only real privacy provided by Telegram is that which exist within their end-to-end encryption which they market as Secret Chats, and even when you attach media in a Secret Chat which is said to be encrypted it is still stored on their servers.

You can change your own data retention in Telegram, but what is their data retention?

When people want to argue about privacy and permissions, don't be selective. The best trust alternative is Signal.
Uhm..20210111_203033.jpg
 
Why, in the name of all that is cute and furry, would you even raise this?
Because Signal going from 50Mil subs to 500Mil in a week, this is going to be millions of $'s to handle it, for something that is free, the money has to come from somewhere. If they can't get donations they going to have to raise money.
 

Uhm, what? All three services are enabled with end-to-end encryption, all three parties have servers to enable their respective services. All three parties claim to not store unencrypted chats/media, each stating their own data retention and availability policies. All three parties allow third-party integration. All three parties are committed to abiding by government requests when legally requested to do so.

Who allows most?

Facebook (WhatsApp):

API/UPI
Interoperability (Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp)

Telegram:

API/UPI

Signal:

?

Just to quote Signal's data sharing disclosure which I haven't shared until now:


Information we may share​

Third Parties. We work with third parties to provide some of our Services. For example, our Third-Party Providers send a verification code to your phone number when you register for our Services. These providers are bound by their Privacy Policies to safeguard that information. If you use other Third-Party Services like YouTube, Spotify, Giphy, etc. in connection with our Services, their Terms and Privacy Policies govern your use of those services.

Other instances where Signal may need to share your data
  • To meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
  • To enforce applicable Terms, including investigation of potential violations.
  • To detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, or technical issues.
  • To protect against harm to the rights, property, or safety of Signal, our users, or the public as required or permitted by law.

The above still requires the user's consent.

So, what do all three services have in common? Simple, they are all Facilitators, but they all bulk on services via API/UPI and Signal have integration, all which requires the users to opt-in with the exception being WhatsApp which in addition have been sharing within a collective ecosystem since probably WhatsApp's acquisition.

From all these providers, Signal shares the least.

It is not about the end-to-end encryption, it is about whose data is most exposed.
 
The app is open source, so from the app people can check exactly what info the app collects and sends to the server not so?
How about they get independent auditors to verify it and publish reports like most decent messenger apps (Signal and Wire)
 
The other ones have such small market share, especially here in South Africa, that it may not really have been worth it.

Or have I missed something?
They do, but it would've been an interesting read and comparison - even if they just had a couple of lines, or were grouped under the same heading.
I loved the chart and the photos but the article also could've mentioned what apps are the most used in SA, or what the SA userbase for these particular apps are <- I've no idea where to pull that info though.
 
Can't believe people are reacting like this over WhatsApp. Have any of you switching away from WhatsApp ever even bothered to read the privacy policy of Google, Microsoft, Spotify, or any of the other big tech companies?

I bet most of you are reading this page on Google Chrome with a logged in Google account, have TrueCaller installed on your phone, and use a browser on your phone (also probably Google Chrome) without an ad blocker. Do you have any idea the amount of data those companies collect?

Now you get warm under the collar because of WhatsApp? You have a lot to learn about how the internet works, young grasshoppers.
Seems to me people are learning\beginning to learn about how the internet works and yet others or not happy about how they then react. Again if these tech giants have so much info already, why is Facebook trying to get even more, through WhatsApp?
 
Seems to me people are learning\beginning to learn about how the internet works and yet others or not happy about how they then react. Again if these tech giants have so much info already, why is Facebook trying to get even more, through WhatsApp?

What 'more' is Facebook collecting? This is a move to legally enable interoperability between Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and do expect Facebook Pay to be soon announced on WhatsApp.

The new terms will also allow Facebook Business users to chat via Facebook Messenger directly to WhatsApp users. This is likely to apply to every user in the time to come.

In addition, expect the Facebook API to become more versatile.
 
WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Facebook vs Signal – What personal data apps collect

WhatsApp has faced global backlash after publishing an addendum to its privacy policy, which users will be required to accept by 8 February 2021 to continue using the application.

Among the changes to WhatsApp’s terms of service and privacy policy is a clause that allows Facebook to share data from WhatsApp across its other products.

“As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, this family of companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings,” WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy states.
vs teams, slack and discord :whistling:
 
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