It’s never been more important to safeguard your data. These ads might make you actually care

Taraji P. Henson gets out of her car in an underground garage as cameras watch her every move. She gets into an elevator, then ditches it for the back stairs. When she spots a surveillance camera, she sprays out its lens. “We are under surveillance, y’all,” she says. “Privacy is not the big tech business model. You know that thing where you’re talking about something, and then you get ads about it on your social? That’s not convenient, that’s creepy.”

This is the award-winning actress starring in the first-ever ad campaign for Signal, an encrypted messaging service that doesn’t log, monitor, or sell user data.

Launched in 2014, Signal has long been a favorite messaging option for journalists and activists. But starting January 5, it saw an explosion of downloads—ultimately becoming the most downloaded app in more than 70 countries globally—when WhatsApp announced changes to its privacy policy. Rumors swirled that the changes would allow WhatsApp to read users’ messages and hand the information over to its parent company Facebook, which the company has denied. Still, with a deadline of February 8 to implement the changes, WhatsApp quickly began to bleed users (to the point that the company later extended the deadline to May 15). That was put into overdrive after Elon Musk tweeted in favor of using Signal on January 7.


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