×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Worried Internet Users Flock to Encryption App After Donald Trump Election

The election of Donald Trump has some internet users worried about their privacy and safety, resulting in a significant uptick in demand for the encrypted messaging app Signal, according to new data from app measurement specialist App Annie. Interest was already elevated in recent months, thanks to countless reports about hacked emails.

Signal is an app that allows mobile phone users to securely exchange encrypted messages without keeping any copies of those messages on a central server. The app has been developed as a non-profit effort by a number of privacy activists, and has in the past been promoted by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Signal got a significant boost in attention after hackers attacked the DNC, and broke into the email account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Campaign staffers reportedly switched to using Signal to communicate safely. The app has been downloaded more than 800,000 times from the Apple App Store and Google Play over the past 2.5 months, with a quarter of the downloads originating from the U.S., according to App Annie.

That may still be small numbers compared to some of the more popular messengers. But it’s worth noting that Signal has seen a significant increase in downloads ever since election day. The app was ranked 98th within the U.S. App Store’s social networking category on Election Day, according to App Annie.  The day after the election, it was ranked 45th; on Thursday, it reached spot number 34.

Android users are also increasingly turning to Signal. On Google Play, Signal was the 65th most popular communications app in the U.S. on Election Day. On Thursday, it had become the 33th most popular communications app.

The growth in Signal app downloads coincides with a growing interest in other privacy and security apps. “We’re seeing in general an uptick of users being more mindful of their digital footprint and mobile security with apps like Signal and the various VPN apps that exist on the market like Hotspot Shield and Opera VPN,” said Amir Ghodrati, director of market insights at App Annie. “The one thing to keep in mind is that for users to receive the maximum benefit of Signal, their contacts have to be leveraging the app as well.”

Trump has yet to formulate a detailed tech policy for his upcoming administration, but past statements about encryption and surveillance have privacy advocates alarmed. When the FBI tried to compel Apple earlier this year to unlock a suspect’s iPhone, Trump called for a boycott of Apple until the company would give in. Trump also said during his campaign that he’d want to put mosques under surveillance, and institute a national registry of Muslims residing in the U.S.

More Digital

  • Fable Premieres "Wolves in the Walls:

    Fable's Neil Gaiman VR Experience ‘Wolves in the Walls’ Gets Sequel at Tribeca

    San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable is premiering the second part of “Wolves in the Walls,” a VR experience based on the Neil Gaiman children’s book by the same name, at the Tribeca Film Festival this week. “Wolves in the Walls: It’s All Over” effortlessly connects to the existing story, and immerses viewers in the [...]

  • Universal Games - Series Your Story

    Universal Games Launches Episodic Game App With 'Saved by the Bell,' 'Law & Order,' 'Bridesmaids,' Other NBCU Properties

    NBCUniversal sees a potential $200 million-plus jackpot in adapting some of its old TV and movie franchises into an interactive storytelling game. The company’s Universal Games and Digital Platforms group on Thursday is launching a new, free-to-play mobile game, “Series: Your Story Universe” that lets players pick an avatar and play through different episodes of [...]

  • Kenny-Mitchell-Snap

    Snap Taps McDonald's Marketing Exec Kenny Mitchell as First CMO

    Snap, as part of rebuilding its senior exec team and angling to boost growth, has hired its first chief marketing officer: Kenny Mitchell, a consumer-marketing veteran who has worked at McDonald’s, Gatorade, NBC Sports Group and NASCAR. Mitchell will join the company in June 2019, reporting to CEO and cofounder Evan Spiegel. Mitchell will lead [...]

  • HTC Vive Pro VR headset

    VR Developers Say Audience Adoption is Their Biggest Challenge

    About 40% of virtual reality developers believe audience adoption is their biggest challenge when it comes to creating VR apps, according to a new survey conducted by the HTC Vive team. Vive recently surveyed about 1,800 developers about the current landscape of the VR industry. Besides audience adoption, 27% said lack of hardware is a [...]

  • China’s Streaming Giants Seek South East

    China’s Streaming Giants Seek South East Asia Expansion

    Chinese video streaming giant iQIYI is looking to expand its service across 10 countries within South East Asia. The move would be the NASDAQ-listed company’s first venture beyond Greater China. The move was disclosed on Wednesday by Yang Xianghua, president of membership & overseas business group, iQIYI, as part of a presentation at the APOS [...]

  • APOS: HBO Go to launch in

    APOS: HBO Go to Launch in Malaysia

    HBO Asia is to launch its, HBO GO in Malaysia from next month. The South East Asian country will be the fifth to receive the streaming service, following Hong Kong, Indonesia, The Philippines and Singapore Within Malaysia, the company is launching the service exclusively with Astro, HBO’s existing partner for subscription video. It will be [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Raises $2.2 Billion Through Junk-Bond Offering

    Netflix just went deeper into hock: The company announced the pricing of unsecured bonds in a transaction raising around $2.2 billion, giving it more cash to invest in content, real estate and infrastructure. The streamer had said Tuesday that it planned to raise $2 billion through a new debt offering, bringing its long-term debt to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content