Comparing Signal-protocol-using messengers

There’re still privacy differences when you compare messenger apps all using the Signal protocol:

In this article, I’m going to compare WhatsApp, Signal, and Allo from a privacy perspective.

While all three apps use the same secure-messaging protocol, they differ on exactly what information is encrypted, what metadata is collected, and what, precisely, is stored in the cloud — and therefore available, in theory at least, to government snoops and wily hackers.

In the end, I’m going to advocate you use Signal whenever you can — which actually may not end up being as often as you would like.

Ethnic Affinity

Facebook started targeting ads based on its perception of a person’s race or ethnicity, but just to be safe without actually taking into account their race or ethnicity. The magic PR BS word they invented for it is “ethnic affinity.”

They want to monetize every aspect of your identity, whether that’s an ethnic affiliation or a preference for bean thread noodles.

The problem is that profiling somebody’s ethnic affinities has a lot more cultural baggage attached to it—to say the least—than profiling somebody’s taste in restaurants. And that’s why Facebook’s multicultural targeting scheme is getting a lot more pushback than the company bargained for.

Facebook Tracking People Who Have Opted Out of Tracking

Facebook specifically and individually tracks all people, even those who aren’t FB users. Using the opt-out mechanism you’re even worse off, since setting the opt-out cookie makes you uniquely identifiable (again).

During the opt-out process, Facebook sets a long-term identifying cookie and then uses this to track visits to pages that have a Facebook social widget. In other words: “for those individuals who are not being tracked by Facebook (e.g. non-users who have never visited a page on the facebook.com domain, or Facebook users who clear their cookies after logging out from Facebook), using the ‘opt out’ mechanism proposed for the EU actually enables tracking by Facebook” (emphasis in original).

When you opt-out …

[…] Facebook promises to stop collecting browsing information, or use it only specifically for the purpose of showing advertisements.”

So, of what use is it then?!?