The Signal instant messaging app has been consistently reporting a surge in new users as well as first time downloads of the app globally. The trends seem to indicate that too. The Signal app has climbed to the top of the charts on the Apple App Store for the iPhone in many countries including India and is hovering close to the top on the Google Play Store for Android phones too—surprisingly in India, it is the third most popular free app after MX TakaTak short video app and SnackVideo. Nevertheless, if you have been wondering how the Signal app will sustain the spike in new users and improve the product at the same time, Elon Musk’s tweet should provide some relief. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has been a very vocal supporter of the privacy focussed instant messaging app, at a time when Facebook-owned WhatsApp has the most users globally.
While a lot of what is in the new terms has already been known, WhatsApp is now saying it clearly that user data is and will continue to be shared with Facebook and other Facebook products as well as services. WhatsApp also says that it tracks user location data at all times, and even if you are smart enough to turn off location access for WhatsApp on your Android phone or Apple iPhone, the app still collects and logs IP addresses and phone number codes to estimate your general location—WhatsApp says this is for diagnostics and troubleshooting. Signal’s popularity on the charts doesn’t come as a surprise.