WhatsApp changes: Signal messaging platform restored after surge prompts outage

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden

According to data from analytics firm Sensor Tower, Signal was downloaded 246,000 times worldwide in the week before WhatsApp announced the change on 4 January, and 8.8 million times the week after.

Last week, a petition was also filed in the Supreme Court of India by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) against WhatsApp's new privacy policy. Although WhatsApp users in the United Kingdom and Europe will also have to accept the new terms to keep using the service, the strict European privacy regulations mean that there will be no additional data-sharing going on.

Contacts are not shared with Facebook, however, do note that phone numbers from addresses of users who give permission can be accessed by WhatsApp. The New York Times reported millions of people flocking to Telegram and Signal in response to these new policies from WhatsApp.

The messenger app has gone on a media blitzkrieg in recent days with ads in traditional media as well as online.

WhatsApp still intends to release the update on May 15 to coincide with new business chat features it began previewing back in October. To this, lawyer Manohar Lal, representing petitioner and advocate Chaitanya Rohilla, said that WhatsApp shared the information globally. It had earlier said the policy will be effective from February 8.

It said WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: "what you share with your friends and family stays between you".

We're now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms.

The petition, filed by lawyer Chaitanya Rohilla through advocate Manohar Lal, sought an immediate injunction against the updated privacy policy, and a direction to the Centre to lay down guidelines to ensure WhatsApp does not share user data with any third party, or Facebook and its companies, for any goal. "This does *not a href="" target="_blank" *website, Signal touts the ability for users to "share without insecurity", noting that it uses end-to-end encryption to keep messages secure".

The change in policy would only affect the business chats on WhatsApp, they said. We'll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.

CAIT has also prayed that Union of India must frame guidelines to govern big technology companies like WhatsApp and frame policies which would protect the privacy of citizens and businesses.

In addition to the Signal Advance debacle, the exodus of users from WhatsApp to other encrypted messaging platforms has had a number of other unintended consequences.

WhatsApp stressed that its practice of sharing data with Facebook was not new, and was not being expanded.