Encrypted messaging app Signal faced major delays in verifying the phone numbers of new accounts on Thursday due to a sudden increase in people trying to join the platform.
In messages posted from its official Twitter account, the Signal Foundation said that verification codes were delayed in several mobile networks, and that it worked through the aftermath as quickly as possible.
Confirmation codes are currently delayed across multiple vendors because so many new people are trying to join Signal right now (we can barely register our excitement). We work with carriers to solve this as quickly as possible. Hold out. ̵1; Signal (@signalapp) January 7, 2021
On Wednesday, WhatsApp began launching the latest terms and privacy policies, which allow the popular messaging app to share a significant amount of user data with Facebook. The changes, which are set to take effect on February 8, 2021, are mandatory, and users will not be able to continue using WhatsApp unless they accept the terms.
Users who accept the terms can expect WhatsApp account registration and phone number, transaction data, service related information, interaction information, mobile device information, IP address and other data to be shared with Facebook.
Facebook told The Verge the updated terms associated with corporate notifications, and that nothing changes for regular users, but the lack of an opt-out option and the amount of data sharing highlighted by the updated policy has given privacy concerns.
Last month, WhatsApp publicly protested Apple’s demand that developers submit information about what user data they collect for privacy labels on the App Store, saying it could give its messaging app a competitive edge.
Late last year, the Apple privacyApp Store enforced ‘privacy labels’. For the first time, it’s easy to compare how much data an app links to your account. When you look at messaging apps, the contrast is quite strong. Pic.twitter.com/Ntw8sELMHX – Morgan (@morqon) January 5, 2021
Signals increase in users was also linked to tweets posted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who recently became the world’s richest person. As noted by The Verge, Musk continued a trend of criticizing Facebook with a Twitter post on Wednesday night, after the attack on the American Capitol building.
Musk shared a meme that suggested that the founding of Facebook had eventually led to today’s events, and followed it up with a tweet suggesting that his 41.5 million voters “use Signal”, presumably instead of a Facebook-owned product like WhatsApp . Musk’s proposal was later retweeted by Edward Snowden, another prominent Signal fan.
In particular, the Signal Foundation co-founded and funded by Brian Acton, the former WhatsApp co-founder who left the company after it was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Acton later urged his Twitter followers to delete Facebook.
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