Facebook, Ginlo, Signal, Skype, Telegram, Threema, and Wire: We looked at encrypted messaging apps to see how they say they handle their users’ data. In 2014, Facebook bought Messenger WhatsApp. Since 2016, the app’s terms of use state that WhatsApp user data can be exchanged with all Facebook services. Of particular interest is the Telegram, as well as how it has developed throughout its entire existence.

For example, Facebook receives account information (including profile name, profile picture, information, mobile phone number and, if applicable, email address) from WhatsApp users, as well as phone numbers from their address books. According to its own statement, the US group does not currently use WhatsApp account information for advertising purposes in Germany.

New terms of use for WhatsApp

On January 4, 2021, WhatsApp amended its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and has been requesting consent to the changes since then. Basically, this is the exchange of data and the use of user data within the Facebook group and for companies using WhatsApp. In addition, new features should be possible once approved. WhatsApp also announced that the messenger can no longer be used normally without consent, and that sooner or later the account will even be completely blocked.

At the same time, the Snapchat app, which is especially popular with young people, is no longer available because it does not offer end-to-end encryption. Thus, the content of the message can be read, for example, by the provider. IMessage end-to-end encryption is available for Apple devices only. Telegram does not have privacy policies in many languages. In addition to the need to bind to a phone number, the application requires you to enter a name. However, it is not checked if the information is correct.

In addition to these one-way channels, Telegram also has groups that can have up to 200,000 members. This seems to attract a lot of people: Telegram reports that it has 400 million monthly active users, double its two years ago, and therefore at least a fifth of WhatsApp users. One of the reasons for this growth is probably the reputation that Telegram has had over the years: a reputation for being a particularly safe and cost-effective messenger.

Apart from the fact that due to the lack of end-to-end encryption, private messages, pictures and videos, as well as some group chats, are usually quite insecure, and even if Telegram, like WhatsApp, uses your own phone number and phone book and Names and numbers The user is known: recently he has attracted conspirators and, in particular, criminals. But this does not prevent the messenger from gaining popularity among users.

You can choose whether other users can see your phone number. The cloud chat feature can be useful for use across multiple devices, but for that, all chat content must be encrypted and stored on servers. Only “secret chats” offer end-to-end encryption, but they must be selected separately and are not available for group calls. In addition, phone numbers and the first and last names of contacts from the address book are retained when using contact sync.

Without access to the address book – unlike Android – it is impossible to start a chat on iOS. Synchronization can be turned on and off, and contacts can be deleted. After six months of inactivity, user data is automatically deleted. The term can be changed in the settings. The disappearance of individual messages can only be activated in “secret chats” with different time levels, and then affects all future messages in that chat.

What about TikTok?

It can be difficult to keep up with teen app preferences. We explain how the TikTok music video network is used and give tips on how to use it safely. TikTok is an application with which you can record videos up to one minute in length and share them with other users. A variety of music, effects and tasks can be used, for example, to create a video to play your favorite song or to tell something about yourself (#this).

Videos are categorized by their hashtags and ideally also displayed to other users in the Discovery tab (for example, #mystyle, #eggchallenge, or # 6secondtest). Hashtags also make searching easier: TikTok automatically displays a selected list of the most popular videos for each hashtag and each song. So far, the logo has not undergone significant changes, because the product is completely new, but it already promises active development, which we can only follow.