Don't use Signal if you value privacy

  • Mon 24 August 2020
  • misc

A couple of months ago I became a Signal user.

For about 18 hours. Then I noped right out.

Why did I suddenly quit using a messaging app that is said to be a privay-oriented platform?

Mere hours after I joined, I started getting messages from people on my contacts list saying "Signal just outed, you, thought you might want to know".

It turns out that Signal spammed "everyone in my contacts list who had me in their contacts list too". I suppose that this might be OK if "one's contact list" and "people one wants to hear from" are an exact 1:1 match in all cases. In my case I have someone who has harassed me in the past, an ex, and some other stuff in my contacts list. Why? Because I want labeled identification of incoming calls to work properly. That's why.

It turns out I'm not the first one to get burned this way. jwz blogged about this in 2017.

In a subsequent blog article, jwz came to the conclusion that It is clear from its design and behavior that Signal's priority is to be a social network first and an encryption tool second..

I'm inclined to agree. Basically, I got bait-and-switched into joining a social network. Can you trust the people behind a "privacy" app whose opening gambit is a trojan horse?

Which is why I quit within 18 hours and collected sincere apologies from the person who asked me to join, but that genie can't be put back in the bottle.

Remember, if you're not paying for the product, then you are the product.