Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) – Elon Musk Hailed App Signal Ropes In Another Big Tech Critic

  • Encrypted messenger app Signal has appointed Meredith Whittaker, a former Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL as its first President, adding to the roster of tech critics leading the encrypted messaging app, the Washington Post reports.
  • The Google manager has been outspoken about the harms of Big Tech.
  • Signal is committed to encryption in an industry built on collecting personal data. 
  • Also Read: Signal Founder Details Messaging App’s Superiority Over Telegram Amid Ukrainian Crisis; Elon Musk Chimes In With His Preferences
  • Non-profit-backed Signal competes against WhatsApp and iMessage, championed by Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc META and Apple Inc AAPL.
  • Whittaker looks to focus on sustaining Signal, which hopes to support itself with small donations from millions of users.
  • “It costs tens of millions of dollars per year to develop and maintain an app like Signal,” she said.
  • Whittaker says that the only way to escape technology that makes money off your data is by paying for products that don’t. 
  • Whittaker, a member of Signal’s board since 2020, rose to prominence for worker activism at Google before it ousted her.
  • Most recently, Federal Trade Commissioner Lina Khan tapped Whittaker as a senior adviser on AI.
  • The app experienced a massive spike in downloads last year during a privacy backlash after WhatsApp changed its policy on data collection on user interactions with businesses. 
  • Signal currently has 140.9 million downloads across the App Store and Google Play.
  • She said that Signal is not interested in increasing profit or attention on ads but instead creating a network effect of encrypted communication.
  • Tesla Inc TSLA chief Elon Musk praised Signal and recommended that Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) have end-to-end encryption for its direct messages to ensure security.
  • Unlike Signal and Whatsapp, Twitter’s direct messages are not end-to-end encrypted.

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