Comparing Chat Applications Encryption, Privacy, and Safe Usage
Thanks to technological advancements, multi-channel communication has been possible. Video calls and phone calls allow people to communicate with each other without having to be physically close. Consequently, mobile chat apps enablethem to send text messages or picture messages and stickers, letting them communicate their thoughts clearlyas if they were in a face-to-face conversation.
However, with all the basic functionality and fun merged in a messaging app, all users will need privacy, regardless of what features they offer.
How transparent and private is your mobile chat app?
Because privacy is imperative in this digital era, most mobile messaging apps have this security feature known as end-to-end encryption that improves trust between users and service providers.
Owned by Facebook, WhatsApp is the most widely used and popular mobile chat app. All WhatsApp messages are encrypted automatically at end-to-end. WhatsApp can see the metadata of your conversations because WhatsApp does not encrypt them. WhatsApp also collects user information and does WhatsApp call monitoring, but this information is not publicly available. WhatsApp also releases a transparency statement that outlines the data they collect from you.
Another Facebook-owned mobile messaging app is Messenger, which uses end-to-end encryption. Messenger conversations are not encrypted by default; unlike WhatsApp recording, you’ll need to activate it.
To send encrypted messages, end-to-end Messenger does not encrypt the metadata of your conversations. Facebook can see it. Messenger also collects information about users. Messenger, like WhatsApp, also publishes a transparency report which shows details obtained from users. The application code of Messenger is not available to the public.
Other Instant Messaging (IM) apps have different ways of protecting their clients’ privacy. In contrast, some apps prefer to partner with mobile archivers such as TeleMessage to help their data privacy compliance.
It is, therefore, safe to say that these applications are safe to use, provided the users know how to use them. And if you want to learn more about other chat applications’ encryption, privacy, and safe usage, check out this infographic.