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posted by requerdanos on Saturday January 09 2021, @05:50PM   Printer-friendly

WhatsApp: Let us share your data with Facebook or else:

In a surprise move, WhatsApp recently gave many of its users a difficult choice: they could either accept a revised privacy policy that explicit[sic] allowed the service to share information with parent company Facebook by February 8th, or decline and risk not being able to use the service at all.

[...] Upon further inspection, the updated policy makes clear that data collected by WhatsApp — including user phone numbers, "transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services , mobile device information, your IP address" and more are subject to be shared with other properties owned and controlled by Facebook.

"As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information (see here) with, the other Facebook Companies," the updated privacy policy reads. "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, including the Facebook Company Products."

[...] The shift appears to be a dramatic about-face for WhatsApp, a company that contends "respect for your privacy" is coded into its DNA and made end-to-end encryption standard across all chats as of 2016.

Additionally, Signal sees surge in new signups after boost from Elon Musk and WhatsApp controversy:

Encrypted messaging app Signal says it's seeing a swell of new users signing up for the platform, so much so that the company is seeing delays in phone number verifications of new accounts across multiple cell providers.

As for what or who is responsible for so many new users interested in trying the platform, which is operated by the nonprofit Signal Foundation, there are two likely culprits: Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Signal competitor WhatsApp.

[...] WhatsApp has outlined a new privacy policy going into effect next month that no longer includes language indicating it will allow users to opt out of data sharing with parent company Facebook. Instead, the new policy expressly outlines how WhatsApp will share data (stuff like your phone number, profile name, and address book info) with Facebook.

Two anonymous submitters also pointed us to this story.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

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  • (Score: -1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @05:57PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @05:57PM (#1097519)

    Methinks stories like this belong on another site, maybe creampuffnews.org where the news is really floaty?

    runaway, you should be ashamed for tempting the editors with this drivel.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by fakefuck39 on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:03PM (4 children)

      by fakefuck39 (6620) on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:03PM (#1097601)

      yeah, maybe a forum that downvoted you to hell so you can't even post is indeed the incorrect forum for you. on this forum, things like, oh, i dunno, data privacy is indeed the correct topic of discussion. i see you've taken a few days off your pills, got some sleep, and have now abandoned your friend, the fat slashdot spammer from years ago. after the nap, you're now fixated on runaway.

      the autism. you cannot ever escape it. there is no cure. it will get worse every year as you age. today is the best day you'll have, because tomorrow and each following day, you'll be more and more trapped inside our brain till you're too afraid to go outside and get groceries. the end is sad, the road there is pain.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:16PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:16PM (#1097605)

        Do you feel better now, or still have some dog kicking and wife beating to do?

        • (Score: 0, Troll) by fakefuck39 on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:35PM (2 children)

          by fakefuck39 (6620) on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:35PM (#1097618)

          i don't kick my dog - i fuck my dog, which is imaginary and has 5 pink nipples. my wife likes the daily beatings, it gets her hot - i think of the dog when we do it.

          you don't have a wife because no woman will even talk to you. your dog is the closes you have to a friend and companionship - which is why you have a dog. your dog watches you jack off into a sock and licks it clean while you sleep, then licks itself. you've often thought what it would be like to rub your nads on its soft belly, but you push that thought out. eventually as you get used to the idea, that warm inviting skin will bring you closer to rover. no one will know - but we all already do.

          there is no treatment. there is no cure. just slowly getting more and more trapped within the confines of your conscience, till you're afraid to open the door to your house. just like i'm pointing and laughing at you now, when your degenerating disability plays out to its inevitable cold dark moist end, someone just like me will be there to laugh at the weird freak. there is no way out - you're watching the train slowly come towards the missing part of track, but you're too much of a coward to jump off.

          meanwhile, why don't you write us another song. sing and dance for our entertainment, soiled soylent jester.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @12:50AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @12:50AM (#1097719)

            Such strange fantasies you have. If we had socialized medicine in the US, you could afford the help you so clearly need. It's not your fault you're like this, but all of society that's to blame.

            • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by fakefuck39 on Sunday January 10 2021, @05:08AM

              by fakefuck39 (6620) on Sunday January 10 2021, @05:08AM (#1097803)

              That was a pretty boring read - I'm here for laughter and entertainment. Why don't you try popping some more adderall and putting it into a nice two page song for us again? You can do it - we believe in you autism-boy!

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by fustakrakich on Saturday January 09 2021, @06:32PM (37 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Saturday January 09 2021, @06:32PM (#1097537) Journal

    Lets share a list of alternatives. How 'bout Skype? /s

    --
    La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by gtomorrow on Saturday January 09 2021, @06:51PM (12 children)

      by gtomorrow (2230) on Saturday January 09 2021, @06:51PM (#1097550) Journal

      I just migrated the family over to Signal [signal.org]...suspiciously easily too. I suppose because I prefaced it all with "Facebook must die!!!11!" and the current sociopolitical climate didn't hurt either. In any case, Signal is a drop-in replacement for WhatsApp (of whom I was always suspicious, even in pre-Facebook times).

      I also tested the new Group Video Call and it works as advertised, so that's good. The only caveat is that videocalls are always in portrait mode.

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday January 09 2021, @06:58PM (2 children)

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 09 2021, @06:58PM (#1097555) Journal

        It stops you from turning your phone? Because if you do that, your recorded image will be in landscape mode automatically, no software support needed.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2) by gtomorrow on Saturday January 09 2021, @07:52PM (1 child)

          by gtomorrow (2230) on Saturday January 09 2021, @07:52PM (#1097591) Journal

          ????

          Sorry, not following you. But my experience is that by turning the phone sideways (landscape) makes no difference: participant A sees participant B either sideways portrait or portrait enlarged to fill the landscape screen. It's definitely odd. I suppose it depends on the phone model...? It's my only quibble with Signal.

          Is your experience different?

          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday January 10 2021, @12:17AM

            by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 10 2021, @12:17AM (#1097708) Journal

            Well, of course both participants will have to turn their phones sideways.

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:18PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:18PM (#1097609)

        No matter how you look into the camera, you can only see the side of your face???

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by gtomorrow on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:36PM

          by gtomorrow (2230) on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:36PM (#1097620) Journal

          No, that only happens when I'm looking at my User Profile.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Sunday January 10 2021, @03:33AM (5 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday January 10 2021, @03:33AM (#1097780)

        Why would you want video calls to be in landscape mode, unless you're one of those people who is wider than they are tall? Portrait mode makes perfect sense when talking face-to-face with people over a video chat: human faces are usually taller than they are wide.

        The only thing landscape mode is good for is taking "landscape" photographs, hence the name: looking at a panoramic vista, you want an image that's wide, because that's how we see the world at a distance. "Portrait" mode is named that way for a reason: every portrait ever painted of a human has that kind of aspect ratio. This distinction goes back many, many centuries, long before cellphones or even photographs were invented: people like seeing natural landscapes in a wider format, and pictures of people in a narrower format.

        I can even think of a good reason this app may lock itself into portrait mode: so that if people are fumbling around with their phone during the call, and not holding it in portrait orientation that well, it doesn't switch back and forth between the modes, which is extremely annoying.

        I've LONG wished I could lock my phone into portrait mode, for every app except a small handful (especially the camera and the photo-viewing apps, for obvious reasons). I really hate how the stupid things will switch over to landscape mode if I tilt the phone too much, or I'm lying in bed holding it more flat than upright. Why the hell would I want, for instance, my web browser to be in landscape mode? It's utterly unreadable that way. Unfortunately, I've never seen a way of locking specific apps to an orientation, though I think I've seen a setting where you can lock ALL apps, but that's stupid because landscape mode is absolutely necessary for photos.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @04:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @04:23AM (#1097789)

          What are you running because the three biggest phone OSes let you lock the phone in portrait.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @12:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @12:13PM (#1097844)

          If you're using Android, just turn off auto rotation. On old versions, when you turned it off, you had to set a swetting to change the orientation. On the new ones, when you rotate the phone a little icon appears next to the home button and if you push it then the orientation changes. It's what I use because I don't like auto rotation either.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @10:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @10:49PM (#1097995)

          We prefer landscape mode at work as we often have video calls in a meeting room, so landscape mode allows us to capture as many people in the meeting room.

          And yes, we're back to having to work in office in my neck of the woods since August last year - though its mostly 2-3 days a week.

        • (Score: 1) by hman on Monday January 11 2021, @12:56PM (1 child)

          by hman (2656) on Monday January 11 2021, @12:56PM (#1098247)

          Landscape mobile videophone use useful the moment you have your significant others head beside yours for any length of time during the call.
          Two heads one beside the other are quite larger than what a typical single head is higher.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday January 11 2021, @07:01PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday January 11 2021, @07:01PM (#1098481)

            Ah, that's a good point.

      • (Score: 2) by corey on Sunday January 10 2021, @10:42PM

        by corey (2202) on Sunday January 10 2021, @10:42PM (#1097993)

        I got my family onto Signal as well. It works well. We used to use Wire but I think Signal works a bit better.

        WhatsApp uses the E2E encryption protocol that Signal invented. So why not just use the one which has the same level of encryption but with actual privacy?

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday January 09 2021, @06:54PM (14 children)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 09 2021, @06:54PM (#1097554) Journal

      I don't know all things that people use WhatsApp for, but if it is just sending messages to people, what about plain old SMS? It is independent of Facebook, and even works on non-smart phones.

      Another option, especially for longer messages and sending non-text material like images, is email. It doesn't work on non-smart phones, but on the positive side, you also can access it from your desktop/laptop computer.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday January 09 2021, @07:43PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday January 09 2021, @07:43PM (#1097586) Homepage

        It's already been outed as Israeli spy software, just as ICQ was back in the day.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by gtomorrow on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:00PM

        by gtomorrow (2230) on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:00PM (#1097598) Journal

        Not sure if you're baiting or not, but WhatsApp is messaging (SMS), media (MMS) and telephony/videocalling, all designed (dumbed down) for the "smartphone generation" mentality. As long as you have a data/wifi connection, you've got international chat/phone/videocalls. It's what the future was supposed to be, if you take away all the insidious "surveillance economy" stuff under the hood.

      • (Score: 2) by fakefuck39 on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:09PM (4 children)

        by fakefuck39 (6620) on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:09PM (#1097603)

        because WhatsApp is specifically used by people, mostly in eastern europe, who want to avoid sms and mms charges, and people who communicate internationally. so the answer to your question of why not sms.

        My friends are across like 15 countries. You want us to pay 50c per text or a dollar a minute to talk to each other?

        given that, yeah - all my friends just talk to me on skype, like they did 15 years ago. the new skype design is much worse, it sucks the battery out of a smartphone, but it's a solid standard - like email. so either use that, or have 50 apps like wechat, viber, whatsapp, signal, all installed on your phone so you can talk to everyone. but skype - everyone already has that.

        • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:46PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:46PM (#1097623)

          My friends are across like 15 countries.

          Yeah I did hear you like to imagine your left hand in various exotic locales.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @02:53AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @02:53AM (#1097770)

            Pro tip: Buy an atlas and you don't even need to use your imagination anymore.

        • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @12:58AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @12:58AM (#1097724)
          Are you the same facefucked that rakes in the dough [soylentnews.org]? Why can't you afford a few dollars to talk to family and friends?
          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Sunday January 10 2021, @03:35AM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday January 10 2021, @03:35AM (#1097781)

            You want his family and friends to have to pay to receive his texts? Maybe he's raking it in, but that doesn't mean they are.

            Besides, SMS is a stupid standard and should be banned. It is unreliable *by design*. It's too bad the telcos couldn't ever come up with something better to replace it, but it's utter trash from a technical standpoint, which is why these chat apps were all made.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Grishnakh on Sunday January 10 2021, @03:48AM (5 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday January 10 2021, @03:48AM (#1097783)

        I don't know all things that people use WhatsApp for, but if it is just sending messages to people, what about plain old SMS?

        SMS is obsolete trash.

        SMS is unreliable by design: messages may or may not be delivered. Sometimes they just disappear, and someone gets mad at you because you ignored their message or didn't do what it said ("I told you to come at 7, not 6! Didn't you get my message that I was going to be late?" "No, I never got that. Look. See?") Chat apps don't have this problem: messages are verified received, and if there's a network problem it retries until it receives verification. This is like UDP vs TCP: you don't send anything UDP unless you don't mind some packets disappearing.

        SMS is tied to your phone number. What happens when you change your phone number? All your friends now can't text you, until you notify them all, separately, of your new number. What an utterly ridiculous and obsolete limitation. In an age when people don't even memorize phone numbers any more, why would you tie someone's identity to a short number that gets changed from time to time?

        SMS doesn't work internationally: SMS is free (these days, but not in the past) within the US, but between countries it is not, and can be quite expensive per message.

        SMS doesn't work if you change SIM cards: if I travel to another country, and get a SIM card for my phone that gives me data access only, or gives me a local phone number, no one can text me. With a chat app, they don't even have to know I've left the country; everything works seamlessly as long as I have a connection to the internet. Phone plans that allow international roaming tend to be expensive, or T-mobile (which has terrible coverage in the US).

        Another option, especially for longer messages and sending non-text material like images, is email

        Email is painful to use on a smartphone. No one wants to mess around with that for just exchanging some short messages. People don't even use email that much any more, except for communications with businesses. I don't know the email addresses for most of the people that I talk to on chat apps. Email is dying, largely due to spam, much like voice telephone calls are dying, due to spam. People still put up with it for some things (and GMail's spam protection helps a lot; we don't have this on the voice-call side though), but it's dying out.

        • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @04:54AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @04:54AM (#1097798)

          SMS is tied to your phone number. What happens when you change your phone number?

          Holy crap. First you dump on sms for being some rickety "old man's tool" then you argue about changing your phone number? My god! The reason you have a cell phone is so you can TAKE YOUR PHONE NUMBER WITH YOU. Nobody has to change phone numbers anymore. You can lose your phone, switch to another cell phone provider, and wait for it... KEEP YOUR PHONE NUMBER!!! Or do you even know that there's this thing called a mic and speaker that allows you to (gasp) TALK WITH A PHONE! I know! It's practically magic! You're life is tied to that number and it's not so you can use SMS messaging.

          You now what SMS does? It just works. Like on every phone ever made from android to iphone. It's built into the protocol that allows cell phones to communicate with towers. Without it you're phone simply wouldn't work as soon as you move from one tower coverage to the next. Don't blame SMS for greedy fuck phone providers who saw a way to squeeze dollars out of customers for a free ride.

          If you want to rail against the machine why don't you yell and Apple and Google for failing to promote a common protocol for seamlessly messaging over wifi. Both of them have that power. Neither of them have done anything about it. Oh sure, iphones seamlessly use wifi for messaging. But only with other iphones. And android, well sometimes I wonder if google even cares anymore.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday January 11 2021, @07:05PM (1 child)

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday January 11 2021, @07:05PM (#1098483)

            Are you really this stupid? You can't "take your phone number with you" when you go to a different country. I guess you're one of those morons who's never left the US.

            As for Apple and Google, the blame there is with Apple for making their messaging app iPhone-only. Forcing people into their walled garden and refusing to interoperate just isn't Google's typical MO. Android phones let you change all kinds of things to 3rd-party apps, even the dialer, and of course the web browser. iPhones don't.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 12 2021, @03:54AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 12 2021, @03:54AM (#1098747)

              You can't "take your phone number with you" when you go to a different country.

              That's only true if you're an American on Verizon or Sprint (which use CDMA). But Americans on T-Mobile or AT&T (which use GSM) can generally roam in other countries with no problem, besides the roaming fees. For extended stays in other countries, I can buy a local SIM card (GSM) and pop it into my T-Mobile phone. But that doesn't work with a Verizon phone.
              When my wife visits the states, her Turkcell (GSM) phone & SIM work fine here, and they have generous international roaming plans available.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @11:39AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @11:39AM (#1097843)

          SMS is unreliable by design: messages may or may not be delivered. Sometimes they just disappear, and someone gets mad at you because you ignored their message or didn't do what it said ("I told you to come at 7, not 6! Didn't you get my message that I was going to be late?" "No, I never got that. Look. See?") Chat apps don't have this problem: messages are verified received, and if there's a network problem it retries until it receives verification.

          I worked at a company whose business ran on sending and receiving SMSes. I can tell you for a fact that, even in the mid-2000s, one could get a message-received-by-device "receipt" from SMSes. This could be switched on in the settings of many/all phones.

          I also know that retrying sending of SMSes is the responsibility of the service provider passing on the SMS. When SMSes could not be delivered, our service would get "failed to deliver" responses sometimes up to 24 hours later. Don't blame the technology for shitty implementation by shitty US phone companies.

          SMS is tied to your phone number. What happens when you change your phone number? All your friends now can't text you, until you notify them all, separately, of your new number. What an utterly ridiculous and obsolete limitation. In an age when people don't even memorize phone numbers any more, why would you tie someone's identity to a short number that gets changed from time to time?

          Why don't you ask WhatsApp and Signal, since their platforms are built around the exact same identifier?

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday January 11 2021, @07:08PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday January 11 2021, @07:08PM (#1098484)

            I also know that retrying sending of SMSes is the responsibility of the service provider passing on the SMS. When SMSes could not be delivered, our service would get "failed to deliver" responses sometimes up to 24 hours later. Don't blame the technology for shitty implementation by shitty US phone companies.

            It doesn't matter if the formal specification isn't that bad; the only thing end-users see is the implementation by the shitty phone companies, so that's the only thing that effectively exists. Whoever's to blame, SMS sucks, and that's the main reason these message apps were invented.

            Why don't you ask WhatsApp and Signal, since their platforms are built around the exact same identifier?

            Interesting; I've never actually used either one. I use apps that have actual accounts and logins and are separate from my phone number, and which I can also use from my PC. If that's how these two apps work, then I'll steer clear because that's the same stupidity that plagues SMS: how the hell am I supposed to use it when I'm outside the US and using a different SIM card?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @11:51PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @11:51PM (#1098017)

        SMS handles group chats terribly. Whatsap/Signal and thier ilk are great for disseminating information to a small group privately.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bart9h on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:02PM (3 children)

      by bart9h (767) on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:02PM (#1097600)

      I like Signal better, but most people around here switched to Telegram instead, so that's what I'm using.

      • (Score: 1) by multistrand on Saturday January 09 2021, @10:11PM (2 children)

        by multistrand (13836) on Saturday January 09 2021, @10:11PM (#1097658)

        I've used signal for a long time - is there some advantage Telegram has that Signal does not?

        • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Sunday January 10 2021, @12:37PM

          by bart9h (767) on Sunday January 10 2021, @12:37PM (#1097847)

          The interface is more polished, and more catered to the general public.

          But in the end they're all mostly the same, it's more a matter of herd following.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @02:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @02:25PM (#1097881)

          is there some advantage Telegram has that Signal does not?

          Yeah, Telegram is probably less secure.

    • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Sunday January 10 2021, @01:32AM (3 children)

      by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 10 2021, @01:32AM (#1097742) Homepage Journal

      Teams is the Skype of 2020. And it actually is a valid alternative.

      For my work communication, Skype/Teams/Email is the officially sanctioned communications. Your org may vary. While for my personal usage I would suggest another service, for work communications I'll follow my IT's recommendations.

      I'm mostly just thrilled that people are moving away from What's App. I'm frustrated that my European coworkers refuse to use any other communication method.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Sunday January 10 2021, @04:37AM (2 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday January 10 2021, @04:37AM (#1097794)

        I'm mostly just thrilled that people are moving away from What's App. I'm frustrated that my European coworkers refuse to use any other communication method.

        Strange: why are Europeans so eager to support an American corporation?

        By contrast, all my Asian friends use LINE, which is made by a South Korean company.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @02:29PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @02:29PM (#1097884)
          Line seems more sluggish and slow compared to Wechat or even WhatsApp.

          Wechat = spied on by China.
          WhatsApp = spied on by USA.

          Signal = spied on by dunno... Maybe they're waiting to be bought out by another NSA/US Gov partner.
          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday January 11 2021, @07:11PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday January 11 2021, @07:11PM (#1098485)

            Strange, I've never noticed any sluggishness with LINE. How do you even notice "sluggishness" with a texting app anyway? This isn't like real-time talking; it's not supposed to be a big deal if messages take a few seconds to arrive. If you're exchanging such a flurry of messages with someone in a conversation, perhaps you should just call them. It's much faster to talk than to type.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @10:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @10:03PM (#1097980)

      I use Silence for SMS/MMS. It pairs with other Silence users to send and receive encrypted messages. This is how PGP should work in email so the masses will adopt it. No screwing around with keys and passwords. If the other side doesn't have the Silence client then it acts as a normal SMS/MMS program.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @07:15PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @07:15PM (#1097568)

    Say whaaa? Please! Who writes this silly shit? It would be extremely surprising if they weren't sharing all along. Facebook and privacy is like Indonesia and airliners. (yeah, they just wrecked another one)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @11:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @11:54PM (#1097703)

      I hear there's this new thing doing the rounds...sarcosm?, sardumber?, sarcadabray? Ach, it's sarcsomethingorother...all the kewl kids are using it, I've been told....

  • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by legont on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:17PM (1 child)

    by legont (4179) on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:17PM (#1097608)

    Even though most Russians switch to this crap after Telegram was blocked - albeigt unsuccessfully - for two years, they are coming back in mass; and joining Trump https://t.me/trump [t.me]

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @02:58AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @02:58AM (#1097771)

      Now I am thoroughly convinced Telegram is compromised and won't use it. Interesting how comments can have the opposite of their intended effect.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:25PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09 2021, @08:25PM (#1097611)

    They steal from you. That it. It does. It matter what the terms of service say. The terms of service are meaningless all meaningless except for one thing: what’s yours is theirs, period.

    Your only choice is NOT TO PLAY.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 12 2021, @10:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 12 2021, @10:05PM (#1099107)

      Your phone sends data back to Apple/Google/Microsoft/China dozens of times per day, and that is just the OS. Wrapped your phone in tin foil yet?

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by ptman on Sunday January 10 2021, @06:19AM (2 children)

    by ptman (5676) on Sunday January 10 2021, @06:19AM (#1097815)

    Comparison: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ErOQo5JXYAESOgC?format=png&name=900x900 [twimg.com]

    While Signal is better than WhatsApp, you really should be looking at matrix.org / element.io . It's like email. You can choose which server to use for chatting, but still chat with everyone using the same protocol. There's a bunch of free servers listed at https://publiclist.anchel.nl/ [anchel.nl]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @04:08PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @04:08PM (#1097905)

      The problem I have with matrix, is that it reminds me quite a lot of how XMPP/Jabber unfolded: It's like email. You can choose which server to use, but still chat with everyone using the same protocol. There's a bunch of free servers to choose from.

      That's all well and good, and yes it's better than XMPP in a lot of ways for a lot of reasons, -but-: XMPP was dead out of the gate, more or less. Google adopted it for Google Talk, then dropped federation support, then dropped Google Talk, and then dropped XMPP. Outside google talk, it never really caught on in a mainstream way. I've no doubt it was forked and is being used internally for a lot of game platforms and other products but there's nothing out there that, One, everyone's heard of, Two, the un-technical folks are using, and Three, still supports federation with other compatible services.

      Unless Matrix can check off all three of those items, it's going to go the same route.

      This is more or less un-possible. Either Google, Facebook and Apple need to jump on the Matrix bandwagon and interoperate with each other and third-parties (I'd bet on living after flying a kite in a lightning storm every storm of the year before I bet on that actually happening), or something like the EU needs to regulate requiring interoperability the way they did for phone chargers. That would be a horrible solution and I in no way endorse it or hope it happens, but I'm not holding my breath on finally having a decent, universal communications standard, either.

      • (Score: 1) by ptman on Monday January 11 2021, @08:26AM

        by ptman (5676) on Monday January 11 2021, @08:26AM (#1098191)

        You raise reasonable points. Some answers:

        WhatsApp is based on Jabber/XMPP (you can see this where they refer to jid - jabber id). So is facebook chat (you could federate with facebook chat and google chat back in the day). But closed now, as you say.

        Jabber is still going somewhat strong in enterprise. E.g. Cisco has solutions based on it.

        Element is offering similar enterprise services. And it has some big customers. Like the german Bundeswehr, public education is some german states, french government, ... (I can't remember the whole list and I can't find the page listing them). There is interest to be independent of the US/Silicon Valley.

        Element keeps improving usability all the time. They've prioritised ease of use over features, which has some technical users complaining. Obviously element can advance several aspects simultaneously, but they cannot implement all the features and improvements now, during next week.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @10:44AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 10 2021, @10:44AM (#1097838)

    Or simply use XMPP or Tox. No phone numbers needed, encryption built-in, open-source, etc.

  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Sunday January 10 2021, @09:54PM (1 child)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Sunday January 10 2021, @09:54PM (#1097979) Journal

    SMS doesn't manage 'groups' very well/at all (depending on phone/carrier)
    I am aware of Whatsapp groups with 200 and 700 people active - SMS just can't do that. In some ways they are more like broadcast systems, but also a forum.. but witht he ability to send and track private messages as part of the 'chat'

    Whatsapp also has very good text search.

    The issues are that any alternative has to:
    1. be easy to use for a non-IT, non-tech savvy 50yo house wife AND her no-nothing-but-surgery husband.. while appeasing the tech AND privacy advocates (not necc. the same people)

    and

    2. be known and used by a sufficient number of people so they can all use it together - as easily as WhatsApp..

    this is a very chicken-and-egg problem - one large group spent many emails deciding what app to use in April 2020.. and they were considering Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram.

    Whatsapp won for easy of use and because many people already had it installed on their phones..

    Moving groups with 700 members off Whatsapp now is going to be... interesting.

    --
    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 1) by hman on Monday January 11 2021, @12:59PM

      by hman (2656) on Monday January 11 2021, @12:59PM (#1098249)

      You need to invince the soccer moms and maintainers of the school class groups and so on. Everybody else will have to install signal. Then the teens will followup because ewww whatsapp=facebook=old people.

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