Need to stop using Facebook Messenger after a sudden WhatsApp reaction?

If you are one of Facebook Messenger’s 1.3 billion users, then a sudden reaction to WhatsApp should be a stark warning. Yes, collecting data from Messenger is more of a concern than harvesting WhatsApp. But even worse, there is now a serious new problem that may convince you to leave.

Driven by an unfortunate series of events, some of which are unfortunate mismanagement of PR, and a widely erroneous story, WhatsApp is now corrupted. And although its vast user base can hold up to a few tens of millions leaving Signal or Telegram, messaging software is pervasive by nature – which is why it is so valuable. This risks a long-term effect.

If each leaving user only encouraged 5-10 of their friends to do the same within the next year, the numbers add up. And if companies ban WhatsApp for work-related messages, those numbers accumulate even faster. Signal Group link It’s a great trick. It allows a scaleDigital migration“We see it now.

Follow Facebook Messenger as this train-wreck series unfolds for its sister platform, but the damage it risks is greater. WhatsApp was already in a vulnerable position before the disastrous terms of service change, conflicting with the negative headlines that followed Apple’s privacy labels. Yes, WhatsApp looked bad compared to Signal and Telegram, But she seemed really angelic compared to the Messenger.

In fact, the WhatsApp disaster has distracted from how bad Messenger Messenger is violating your privacy. There is no justification for that. We all know Facebook makes a living from our data – that’s how we pay for its “free” services. But there needs to be a limit. If we find ourselves in a place where Facebook says We’ll take whatever we can getAnd say Yes, so goodSo what does that say about us and the value we place on our privacy.

WhatsApp The main defense against backlash It was “We can’t see your private messages … nor can Facebook.” There is no such luck, however, if you are a Messenger user. The social networking site Facebook Admits It monitors the content sent in private messages between users. And Facebook for sure Do you Share all its metadata with ItselfAnother allegation that WhatsApp disputes about its users and metadata.

We saw the perfect illustration of Facebook Messenger’s scanty consideration for your privacy when researchers Tommy Musk and Talal Haji Bakr said, It is a popular iOS clipboardAnd the reveal He was downloading private file attachments sent between users to his own servers, as well as links to file shares and websites. Resolved issue regarding Messenger easily accessing your private information – that’s what end-to-end encryption is all about.

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“Your personal messages are protected by end-to-end encryption,” WhatsApp confirmed its fight. “We will never weaken this security.” Messenger users can also benefit from the same level of security, but only inSecret talks. “Unlike WhatsApp, this only supports messages between two people, not within groups and is not turned on by default. When selected, it stops Facebook intruding on your messages and downloading your links and attachments.

It is the lack of complete encryption that makes Messenger blocker for me. This should be the default for Which The messaging platform you use. Facebook itself has it warned There is a risk when this encryption is not available, and WhatsApp deserves to be highly appreciated for the universal access, making end-to-end encryption available to two billion users. as a result. Ironically, Facebook has become the world’s most powerful advocate for messaging use, competing with lawmakers defending mandatory back doors.

Don’t take end-to-end encryption for granted – the fact that we can communicate and send messages from anywhere in the world, safe from network investigations to governments and bad actors, is a huge plus. One of the ironies of WhatsApp’s backlash is That users are leaving WhatsApp, which is encrypted by default end-to-end, for Telegram, which is not.

This brings me to a serious new issue that could potentially affect Messenger users – the reason why you should now switch to an alternative. Back in 2019, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook Argued Private messaging will become the new normal, replacing the social need to share everything everywhere. This was followed by First reports In Facebook’s plans to merge WhatsApp with Messenger and Instagram’s DMs, creating a messaging giant serving nearly 3 billion users.

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At the time, this It raised concerns for WhatsApp users But it also led to reports that Messenger will be end-to-end encrypted – a huge improvement. But after two years, we have not seen significant progress, the ban on secret chats, the disappearance of messages and some experimental WhatsApp codes indicating a messaging portal in development. However, what we’ve seen is the beginning of this integration, starting with Messenger and Instagram, with no security improvements in sight.

Last year, Facebook told me that it remains “very committed to making Messenger end-to-end encrypted by default,” and that the timing “aligns with what we have said since launch – that it will take some time and we are committed to fulfilling that right.” The company also confirmed Defend this encryption In front of the legislators.

“People should be able to communicate securely and discreetly with friends and loved ones without their conversations being heard or monitored – including Facebook.” Facebook’s Jay Sullivan told a Senate committee in 2019. “Facebook is committed to making such private communications widely available.”

Sullivan also said that users should be able to submit medical and financial information “with confidence that it will not fall into the hands of identity thieves or other malicious intent.” But as things appear, O Messenger Do you Monitor the content, and you will notice that “health and fitness”, “sensitive information” and “financial information” are among the set of user data fields that they acknowledge collecting through their Messenger platform.

The addition of end-to-end encryption was a saving boon for Messenger, preventing content from being monitored, collected and processed, even if not metadata. But the backlash on WhatsApp has seen a stark realization by millions that encrypting content, by itself, is not enough.

WhatsApp backed off a bit, Delay date when users have to accept forced change of terms, Confirming that she will use the time to better communicate the facts behind this madness. But what it didn’t do was commit to reviewing the metadata it collects and providing a detailed view of the specific data it shares with Facebook, bypassing assurances that no material will be altered.

Unfortunately for WhatsApp, the Genie is out of the bottle and that’s not good enough. She has tampered with the Facebook factor since 2014, but can no longer do so. A slurred presentation will not calm the millions whose tricks are now sprung. WhatsApp has to be open and honest, and it has to decide if it can collect data again, making it compatible with iMessage, Telegram and Signal.

The serious new problem for Messenger users is twofold. First, the late extension of encryption at the WhatsApp level has become more controversial, because it could risk antagonizing lawmakers who don’t want to see it expand and also because it might appear to be a defensive move against antitrust lawsuits in the US. It is particularly focused on Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp.

Second, this encryption will not be enough to change recommendations for ditching Messenger for alternatives. The metadata you collect is And therefore Extensive, unless you stick to WhatsApp match, users still have to leave. Like it or not, Facebook’s data practices are now publicly visible, and it’s not buried in a small print of the Privacy Policy. We can all see the ridiculous difference between Messenger and the other platforms, though we still need to understand how we monetize this metadata and use it to target us with ads.

Technically, Facebook’s integration will likely struggle to offer encryption as well as an integrated back-end that doesn’t materially reduce data collection for Messenger, while not expanding WhatsApp to the point where more leaves. I do not envy the technical architects assigned to this challenge. Note that if you use Instagram, by the way, it’s worse than Messenger and bypasses related data to tracking.

Another issue that came up last week is one that affects all of us. WhatsApp messages and calls she Safe – It already uses Signal encryption protocol, albeit a dedicated version. It also has an infrastructure that can hold 2 billion users and 100 billion daily messages. The size of the ecosystem required to support this was emphasized Signal interruptionWhere millions of news users have made the switch. Other platforms will take time to build their back ends.

Meanwhile, there is a high risk that negative headlines and negative reactions on social media undermine user confidence in WhatsApp’s security. This is dangerous. Friends, family, and colleagues will likely ask anyone in the information security field this week if they are need to To move from the platform. of course not. And while switching to Signal is a good thing, what about Telegram – less secure, or Android Messages, which have no end-to-end encryption, unlike a limited beta?

The advice is now simple. If you still use Messenger or if you use Instagram DMs for anything other than dealing with businesses you buy from or regular contacts, then it’s time to switch. WhatsApp is the easiest option for you due to its size – all of your friends and family are likely to be users. If you want a more secure option, run Signal in parallel. It will become more usable as more of your contacts join.

With WhatsApp and Signal running in parallel, you are fine in terms of security and privacy. Ultimately you’ll use Signal as the default when your contacts are on board, but you’ll likely have WhatsApp as well when you’re not. You can also transfer all Facebook Messenger chats and groups to one or the other.

You should do that now.

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