In the flashlight of the recent commotion surrounding WhatsApp’s disregard for the confidentiality of user data, users have flocked to alternative messaging services such as Signal, which reported a sharp increase in new user sign-ups.
WhatsApp’s tweet emphasizes how users are still in complete control
WhatsApp clarified that it, and its parent company Facebook, can neither listen in on users’ calls nor read their messages. User calls and messages aren’t logged either.
The company also assured that users can download a copy of their data stored on WhatsApp servers.
The tweet claims that Facebook and WhatsApp don’t share user contacts, location data, and group chats.
WhatsApp tweets infographic clarifying its stand
We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption. pic.twitter.com/6qDnzQ98MP
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 12, 2021
While Signal gains users, WhatsApp stands to lose more
In our ongoing coverage of WhatsApp’s ToS change and surrounding rumors, we touched upon how privacy-driven messaging service Signal gained scores of users overnight. Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, recommended Signal in a two-word tweet.
This phenomenon is a testament to the possibility that WhatsApp could collapse as rapidly as it grew if users feel cheated or otherwise lose trust in the company.
Disappearing messages offer little solace to worried users
Meanwhile, WhatsApp’s new feature allows messages in a chat to disappear after seven days. However, users can still save the messages. All exchanges in conversations prior to enabling this feature will be available until they are manually deleted, or the chat is otherwise cleared.
Platforms such as Snapchat and Signal have had this feature for quite some time now.
Delayed clarification from WhatsApp comes across as damage control
The company reiterated that only the chats users may have with business accounts will be affected by the ToS change. Communication between users continues to remain end-to-end encrypted.
WhatsApp’s infographic goes a long way in clarifying user concerns, but a more timely release of this information could have saved the company a lot of bad PR and disgruntled users.