The Signal app displayed on a mobile device (left) versus Whatsapp
The Signal app displayed on a mobile device (left) versus Whatsapp

In a matter of days, Signal has risen to become one of the most downloaded applications in Kenya amid privacy concerns on Whatsapp.

On Google Play, Signal is the second most popular app in Kenya as of Monday, January 11 indicating its new-found popularity among Android users. It also ranks highly on Apple’s App Store.

Signal, dubbed the world’s most secure messaging app, along with Telegram have been some of the biggest beneficiaries of a global wave of backlash against Facebook-owned Whatsapp over its new privacy policy.

The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, is among those who called for individuals to dump Whatsapp in favor of Signal over the new policy.

Whatsapp users have been hit with a notice on the app in recent days, informing them to accept the changes that will see user data shared with Facebook. While users can currently opt to decide later whether to accept the changes, those who fail to do so will eventually be unable to access the service.

Mobile phone users pictured on their phones
Mobile phone users pictured on their devices

“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,” the new privacy terms read in part.

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The new terms sparked fears that user privacy might be at risk with data being shared with the social media giant.

It is important to note that information collected by Whatsapp will not include chats, as the data is encrypted and thus inaccessible.

This means that, for the foreseeable future, chat data will not be harvested by Facebook for its multi-billion dollar advertising business.

Information to be collected includes personal data such as phone numbers, contacts, profile names, profile images and diagnostic data.

The new policy has seen Signal and Telegram move to the top of app charts around the world as users seek supposedly secure alternatives to Whatsapp.

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