NIXSolutions: Signal and Threema Unenthusiastic About WhatsApp Interoperability

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) requires tech giants like Meta to enable interoperability between their messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and third-party services. This could potentially expand the user base for smaller messaging apps like Signal and Threema.


Privacy Concerns Hinder Collaboration for Signal and Threema

However, despite the potential for wider adoption, both Signal and Threema have expressed reservations about collaborating with WhatsApp. Their primary concern lies in maintaining their strict privacy standards. Signal President Meredith Whittaker emphasizes their commitment to “raising the bar” on data protection, highlighting that compromising on these principles in favor of interoperability with services like WhatsApp would be detrimental. A Threema spokesperson echoes this sentiment, stating that their “ideology” is built upon prioritizing robust privacy and data security, which they are unwilling to compromise.

WhatsApp’s Data Practices Raise Red Flags

While WhatsApp uses the same Signal Protocol for end-to-end encryption as Signal and Threema, concerns remain regarding its data practices. Unlike Signal and Threema, WhatsApp collects metadata such as message sender, recipient, and timestamps, which raises privacy issues. Additionally, Signal and Threema criticize WhatsApp’s closed-source nature, making it difficult to verify how user data is handled. Furthermore, potential collaborators with WhatsApp would need to comply with its specific end-to-end encryption standards, which may limit their flexibility and appeal.

The DMA’s push for interoperability in messaging presents both opportunities and challenges, concludes NIXSolutions. While it could broaden user bases for smaller platforms, Signal and Threema prioritize user privacy over potential user growth. This highlights the ongoing tension between user convenience and robust data protection in the digital age.