TheNFAPost Podcast

People are coming to realise that Facebook does not build products for them, but rather Facebook builds products for their data,” said Signal Messenger COO Aruna Harder.

Her statement assumes significance as there is lot of global outrage against Facebook data security and privacy practices and several state governments have become suspicious about their practices.

Aruna Harder pointed on why the encrypted chat app Signal is better than the Facebook-owned WhatsApp., adding that from the user’s point of view the social network’s policies are very difficult to understand.

Signal, another competitor to WhatsApp owned by Facebook, is witnessing a spike in new users from India and abroad following the uproar over WhatsApp’s new privacy policy. It has been among the top downloaded apps in India most of January.

Signal has seen a spike in new users from India following the uproar over WhatsApp’s new privacy policy. It has been among the top downloaded app in India most of January. In an email interaction, Harder says the unique aspect of Signal is that it does not know anything about anyone.

“We collect no data, have no ads ever, and are not driven by profit. We are directly tied to what the millions of people who use Signal every day want. Those are the only people we are beholden to, no shareholders or investors. That’s why our policies are very straightforward,” said Aruna Harder.

Digital conversations on Signal feel as authentic and safe as the conversations that we have in person,” she says, adding that Signal feels “privacy and security should be simple and straightforward just like we experience in our offline lives”.

The app is “built to make messaging work like we all assumed it did, just a direct connection between people without any third parties tracking or listening in”. She is categorical that the “only scary aspect of a messenger is when you have to think twice about who else is reading your messages”.

“When it comes to India specifically, Signal’s engineers are working hard to ship the features people are requesting. Rather than borrowing any features, we are more focused on listening to what our customers want, and work on it accordingly, so that we can live up to the high standards that people in India have come to expect from us,” she says, adding how the team is gearing to launch wallpapers, the most requested feature from India.

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