cross-posted from: https://lemmy.world/post/12199398

TLDR version as per Signal's Mastodon:

Introducing usernames and phone number privacy on Signal!

We’re making it possible for people to connect with each other without having to share phone numbers. Now launching to beta users, available for everyone soon.

  1. New default: Your phone number will no longer be visible in Signal
  2. You can create an optional username to connect without sharing your phone number
  3. You can enable a new, optional privacy setting to require people to connect with you via username instead of phone number

A Signal username isn't the profile name that’s displayed in chats, and isn't visible to the people you chat with on Signal. A username is simply a way to initiate contact on Signal without having to share your phone number. (You still need a phone number to sign up for Signal.)

Create a username by going to your Settings > Profile. Your username must be unique, and can be changed at any time.

To connect with someone via username instead of phone number, type their exact, unique username.

We’re launching these updates to our beta users now, and will be turning them on for everyone running the latest version of the Signal app soon. Our goal is to listen to your feedback, make adjustments, and ensure phone number privacy on Signal is easy and useful for everyone.

You can sign up for beta to test these features. Note that Apple caps the number of iOS beta testers, and we have reached that limit. If you use Signal on iOS, you can get around this by signing up for Desktop beta, linked to your iOS account. See more: https://support.signal.org/hc/en-us/articles/360007318471-Signal-Beta

For more information: Signal's Blog Post

top 12 comments
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[-] SatyrSack@lemmy.one 21 points 1 month ago

A username is simply a way to initiate contact on Signal without having to share your phone number. (You still need a phone number to sign up for Signal.)

So close...

[-] eksb@programming.dev 15 points 1 month ago

My complaint is no so much the requirement of a phone number as the requirement of an Android/iPhone app.

The desktop app should be a first-class client.

I still don't understand why the Signal desktop client doesn't/can't sync past messages. It is annoying as shit when adding a new device.

[-] adam@doomscroll.n8e.dev 8 points 1 month ago

Each devices encryption keys are unique and non-transferable. Each message in a conversation is encrypted in such a way that every participating device at the time of sending can decrypt it.

New devices (like desktop clients) didn't have their keys used for old messages and so can't decrypt them. There is no way to reencrypt old messages with additional new keys.

It's both annoying as shit, and also the only way to ensure a bad actor can't just add themselves to conversations they weren't a part of.

[-] notfromhere@lemmy.ml 6 points 1 month ago

A client that has the messages could sync them to a new client by reencrypting them. You say there is no way to do that, but how would the client decrypt them to show the user if that was true?

That is extremely annoying... I understand it, and appreciate you explaining it, but it is rather annoying.



[-] nrbray@lemmy.ml 0 points 1 month ago

If you are limited to signal, its a problem users like https://discuss.tchncs.de/comment/7643631 might not have.

Signal ties you into google or apple and mobile operator so I wonder what its benefits are beyond stopping Facebook monetising peoples data.

[-] Rikj000@discuss.tchncs.de 2 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Sign-up still requires a phone number.. -.-"

Checkout Matrix/Element ~~or Session~~,
there you can actually enjoy privacy by signing-up without a phone number/email:

Edit: Due to Session's company residing in Australia,
which appareantly has bad privacy laws,
i don't feel comfortable with recommending it anymore

[-] flyoverstate@kbin.social 1 points 1 month ago
[-] Rikj000@discuss.tchncs.de 1 points 1 month ago

First time I hear about it.

Briefly looked into it,
and it does appear to be a good/valid private chat client :)

[-] onlinepersona@programming.dev 1 points 1 month ago

Nice! Now I can just give people my username when I'm abroad. "Catch me on Signal! Username's onlinepersona". No need to share my phone number anymore. Pretty sweet.


[-] electro1@infosec.pub 0 points 1 month ago

F'en Finally 🙌

this post was submitted on 20 Feb 2024
119 points (97.6% liked)

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