Signal in plans to cease plaintext SMS support on its Android app

Signal in plans to cease plaintext SMS support on its Android app

by Pranali Mehta

Instant messaging service platform, Signal is reportedly planning to bring down the feature of plaintext SMS for its Android app. Customers who currently use the feature will get alerts advising them to switch to a different forum. Messages would be exported and imported into another app simultaneously.

The company also claimed that the change would take place over the period of several months for current customers to transition from Signal to a different platform, and also to warn prospective customers from using the app for the SMS feature.

Elaborating on the retraction Signal claimed that it had originally included the SMS feature to attract customers and encourage them to use the app.

In addition, the company asserted that while the move may be inconvenient for users who use the app as a primary mode of communication, it had some very practical responses for the change.

One of the most prominent drawbacks of the SMS feature is that it does not provide the advantage of end-to-end encryption. Furthermore, the company has repeatedly received complaints from its customers that the SMS that they sent from the Signal was being charged by their telecom provider at sky-high costs.

Another motive behind dropping the SMS feature from the app was to avoid confusion between SMS and Signal messaging while enabling resources to work on other projects and features.

Even though the company was trying to get rid of the platform as soon as possible, the decision became non-negotiable following a serious data breach incident at the SMS verification end at Twillio wherein sensitive data such as phone numbers and SMS codes belonging to over 1900 users were exposed.

However, it remains unclear whether the vulnerabilities in call-to-end SMS support systems are responsible for the breach.

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Pranali Mehta

A chemical engineer by qualification, Pranali Mehta dutifully walked down the slated path and worked in a chemical firm for a year. Her passion for writing however, pushed her into experimenting with the same as a career. With over three years of experience in content writ Read more...