A chat app, a virtual assistant and the world’s most powerful search engine, all rolled into one? It sounds like the perfect messaging app. Google’s most noteworthy announcement was the Allo messaging app that’s meant to compete with Whatsapp and Messenger.
It’s a well-designed app with tons of features and one major drawback - it has no way to protect privacy.
What’s the issue?
Google’s Allo lacks end-to-end encryption, which means messages and data sent across the service are exposed to risks. Google also backtracked on its promise to only store data fleetingly, which means user data will stay on their servers either forever or till the user chooses to delete them. Most experts consider Google’s Allo a big step backward for digital privacy.
Even Edward Snowden came out against the app. He’s concerned Google has the ability to store all the messages sent across on the app and make it available to authorities on request.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 21, 2016
It’s important to point out that Allo doesn’t lack any form of encryption. It uses the Signal Protocol for encryption when users go into incognito mode on the app. But Google’s app simply will not work as well if you don’t let it into your life.
Google Allo isn’t designed for incognito
Sure, you can enable incognito mode and keep your data private. But the app is basically a toothless tiger without it.
Blocking Allo from logging messages and location data means you cannot simply ask the voice assistant to send your friend a map to your home. You will have to manually create a map on another app and then share it.
The in-built bot will be unable to learn your typing style and mimic you while replying to contacts or trying to complete your sentences. The messaging app becomes a lot more tedious to use once you’ve gone incognito.
But even incognito mode isn’t able to fully protect your data. Google may still be able to get its hands on the data that falls through the cracks in the system.
Considering the fact that you don’t know where any data you share with Google lands up is reason enough to consider better online tools. If you value privacy and data protection, it’s better just to stay away.
Businesses and individuals should consider highly sophisticated encryption for all their data.
Mainstream apps and online tools leave your data vulnerable. Every bit of information is stored forever and can be potentially lost to hackers or law enforcement authorities. Private data is a highly valuable commodity and it’s time you start protecting it appropriately.
Encrypting emails communications will help safeguard your data and businesses. Even if the data is breached and stolen, the attackers would have a useless stream of unintelligible words and letters.
Of course, you don’t need to be an encryption expert to get the best security. You simply need to get your encrypted mailbox and you’ll be protected enough.