Whatsapp. Alternatives respectful of privacy, because my conversations are my own

Today, our communications are mostly digital and continuously filed and archived by third-party entities. Most people today use Whatsapp or Instagram to communicate with each other. Well, very well, only a small problem arises concerning personal privacy.

Facebook, do you know a lot of people who care about privacy?

Whatsapp and Instagram are nothing more than a Facebook appendix for the global profiling of Internet users. And even if we use our encrypted chats, the simple metadata allow third parties to register us, to know everything about us and our habits.

With whom I speak, where I speak and for how long, how much I write, where I write, at what time, they are all information like our conversations themselves. And they are private information and those should remain. As NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker has said, “metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content.”

If you use Apple or Google messengers, perhaps Microsoft’s Skype, in general any communication software that is not opensource, such as the aforementioned Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, then you are knowingly choosing to provide your data, your conversations and your metadata to third parties and companies that will use them for their personal gain. You will be the business of those companies.

How to fight all this? How to keep your personal data private?

You can keep your conversations and your personal and private metadata, simply by not using the messaging applications mentioned above and choosing instead to use opensource software. Thanks to opensource licenses, you are able to search through the application code to see and understand what they actually do. To understand if and which personal data is going to affect.

So, in my opinion, the two best alternatives are Signal and Telegram.

Signal – Privacy that fits in your pocket

Signal - Fast, simple, secure
Signal – Fast, simple, secure

Signal is a mobile and desktop messaging system very similar to WhatsApp and Telegram. The advantage, compared to the others, is that user data is not collected and all conversations are private, without being able to be intercepted by anyone. Neither for commercial nor for other purposes.

The product has all the basic functions of WhatsApp and nothing more, with it you can send high-quality group, text, voice, video, document, and picture messages anywhere in the world without SMS or MMS fees. You can also make crystal-clear voice and video calls to people who live across town, or across the ocean, with no long-distance charges.

Signal messages and calls are always end-to-end encrypted and painstakingly engineered to keep your communication safe. No one can read your messages or see your calls, and no one else can either. Also, behind this software there is a non-profit foundation that aims to “to develop open source privacy technology that protects free expression and enables secure global communication”.


Telegram – A better, faster and more secure messaging app

Telegram - A new era of messaging
Telegram – A new era of messaging

Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app, also a voice over IP service, with a focus on security and speed. It is developed by Telegram Messenger LLP, a privately held company founded by the Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolai. Very similar to Whatsapp, it claims to be better, faster and more secure.

Telegram messages are heavily encrypted and can self-destruct, it is cloud based so lets you access your messages from multiple devices and it delivers messages faster than any other application. Its servers are spread worldwide for security and speed and it has an open API and protocol free for everyone.

Telegram has faced censorship or outright bans in some countries over accusations that the app’s services have been used to facilitate illegal activities, such as protests and terrorism, as well as declining demands to facilitate government access to user data and communications.


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