News By/Courtesy: Aakash Raj | 13 Jan 2021 13:28pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • privacy issues
  • success of Signal
  • Signal's growing base and objectives

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton left Facebook in 2017 and co-founded Signal in 2018, which is now considered the gold standard of data protection and has seen incredible growth in installs by users of Android and Apple around the world post the controversial access to of user information by Facebook. Acton said not just the nerds, mum, dad, everyone is talking about data privacy now. This time, it was the regulatory reforms that contributed to the huge rise in demand for Signal at his former start-up-WhatsApp-by the new owners-Facebook-. It also led Acton and his team of fewer than 50 people to recruit all-nighters to handle the traffic of growing numbers of new users from all over the world. Q1) Since January 6, when WhatsApp changed its terms and conditions, how many users have installed Signal globally? A. We've seen unparalleled growth, in the millions. We don't openly discuss our customer figures but this time we shot up to the number one spot in 40 countries on the iPhone, and in 18 countries on Android. This is a chance for us to propose simpler solutions to consumers all over the globe. We are number one in India. India has a huge population, so it converts into more consumers of signals than anywhere else. Q2) Did you see a privacy situation like this one emerging after Facebook bought WhatsApp? Reports suggest you quit Facebook because of gaps in WhatsApp monetization. A. In my last year there, I saw it more acutely, and it was, I suppose, part of my motive to leave. With the purchase of WhatsApp, in the first year, they usually leave you behind. They will have mild monitoring in the second year, but the control is substantial in the third year. They set some expectations and financial goals. The decision was easy for me: to concentrate on the stuff I needed to concentrate on. And, with Moxie, I was really enthusiastic about setting up Signal base (co-founder Moxie Marlinspike). We have a fantastic result after three challenging years, now we have a chance to illustrate what we have done, and what we will continue to achieve. Q3) If given a choice, would you reconsider selling WhatsApp to Facebook? A. It is unlikely to return. WhatsApp was basically established as a for-profit corporation. There were customers and staff who, including me, had financial problems. I'm never going to get the ability to step back and do anything differently. Q4) Is there been any significant increase in donations since the privacy controversy started? A. Definitely. The month is not yet over, and the January contributions have already matched the December donations. We've been focused more on growth than profits. As we build a greater donor pool, we will have a larger base of profits on which to work. Q5) Many businesses are considering shifting their official contact to your channel. But several others are confused about which thing to use for commercial use. What are you suggesting? They should look at their criteria and weigh them against the things on sale. Facebook didn't want to use Google mail for internal networking for a long time and they didn't want their emails read by Google. Any organization needs to make an IT decision in those cases on how internal communications can operate. Thanks to its encryption capability, Signal is a perfect offering. Q6) You have worked closely with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. What do you think of Facebook Inc? I honestly neglect them. I made the decision that I could no longer use Facebook. To start with, I wasn't a major fan and I've never really been much of an Instagram user either. I'm too old or something, maybe. In this respect, I'm an outlier. Many people swear by all platforms, but for me, it's about granting the power of choosing to people. I'm here to present a private, safe, and secure channel of communication. If you chose to go ahead with any other platform, it’s totally your discretion. The consumer must be given a choice. 

 

This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, Or Religion Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 13 Jan 2021 17:46pm IST


Tags : #AgeOfSignalPlatform #StopMisuseOfData #PrivacyFirst

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