What about the security of names of people who download the secure messaging apps Signal? Is there some master list that Signal keeps of every subscriber, that they could be forced to share, or could be hacked?

In theory, using secure apps simply identifies people sending potential sensitive information.

I've read here that "[Open Whisper Systems founder Moxie Marlinspike says] that [Signal doesn't] publish statistics about how many users they have, but Android’s Google Play store reports that Signal has been downloaded between 1 and 5 million times. The iPhone App Store does not publish this data."

So the iPhone App Store does not publish this data, but this does not indicate whether they record the data or not.

1 Answer 1


App stores (both Google and Apple), ISPs, and Open Whisper Systems could probably all identify Signal users if legal compelled / hacked. Not sure who could legally acquire this information, and the value / quality of it (downloading an app is not the same as using the app). If you want something where you can blend into the crowd more, try WhatsApp; it's the same protocol. Though WhatsApp likely store more meta-data. Ricochet, if used properly, can be very difficult to attribute, but is far less convenient.

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    How can you recommend Whatsapp over Signal knowing that it keeps more meta data and sharing it across Facebook?
    – user13695
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 15:00
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    With WhatsApp you sacrifice the additional metadata WhatsApp / Facebook collect, in exchange of a more benign appearing app. Depending on your threat model, being caught using Signal may raise more questions. Though in most cases I'd recommend Signal, but given the nature of op's question, I thought this was an issue worth raising.
    – Hadog
    Commented May 5, 2018 at 13:30

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