Amid the outage news, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told a senate subcommittee that “left alone, Facebook will continue to make choices that go against the common good – our common good.”
What is Signal?
Signal is an independent messaging app. Privacy is central to Signal’s offering, promising end-to-end encryption and “no creepy tracking”.
Signal is just like WhatsApp in that you can make voice calls, video calls, send messages, pictures, and stickers. On Signal, you can even create group chats with up to 1,000 participants.
One of the key differences between Signal and WhatsApp is that Signal is an independent non-profit. The app isn’t tied to any large tech companies, whereas WhatsApp was bought up by Facebook in 2014.
Signal is free to download and easy to use, and can be used on mobile devices and desktops, including Linux.
Signal has also received glowing reviews. For an app that prides itself on privacy, word-of-mouth advertising doesn’t get much better than nabbing an endorsement from whistleblower and privacy advocate Edward Snowden.
Facebook-owned Whatsapp being down is a reminder that you and your friends should probably be using a more private,… https://t.co/FKxU13qEvq
Speaking to Forbes about his resignation from Facebook, Acton said: “At the end of the day, I sold my company [WhatsApp]. I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day.”
To hammer home, the point on privacy, earlier this year Signal tried to raise awareness about the amount of data Instagram and its parent company Facebook gathers on its users by attempting to launch their own ad campaign on Instagram.
An example of an advert they tried to run reads: “You got this ad because you’re a goth barista and you’re single. This ad used your location to see you’re in Clinton Hill. And you’re either vegan or lactose intolerant and you’re really feeling that yoga lately.”
Signal tried to use Instagram ads to display the data Facebook collects about you and sells access to.
Facebook wa… https://t.co/qFo3LD2V08
However, Facebook reportedly dismissed the campaign as a “stunt” and claimed Signal didn’t even try to run the ads.
In a blog post in May, Signal’s head of growth and communication Jun Harada wrote: ”Companies like Facebook aren’t building technology for you, they’re building technology for your data. They collect everything they can from FB, Instagram, and WhatsApp in order to sell visibility into people and their lives.”
After the advertising beef, venture capitalist Bill Gurley tweeted: “The Signal vs Facebook story is remarkable. The biggest threat to Facebook is a non-profit funded by WhatsApp founders! Such a great story.”
To stay up to date on the latest news on Monday’s outage, follow The Independent’s live blog.