Surprise, surprise, disabling end-to-end encryption is a bad idea, thinks Snowden.
Oh the dreaded “P” word! Privacy has been one of the most talked about subjects since the launch of our new millennia. Yesterday we touched on how Facebook has been reportedly monitoring its users’ conversations and even the types of music they are listening to via their mobile app. In addition, Google has been on the same boat allegedly storing the information from its Google Voice platform. Today, we’re going to cover another area of concern related to privacy and Google again is the culprit.
Earlier in the middle of last month, Google announced two brand new mobile apps named Allo and Duo. Allo is a smart messaging application that allows for easier discussions with a more comprehensive framework to work with. By using the Smart Reply option, users can respond to messages directly from your phone’s built in mic making sliding or tapping your fingertips a thing of the past. Based on a person’s individual phone number, Allo has an array of smart features with deeply integrated machine adaptations. For instance, it offers smart suggestions based on your communicative behaviors. So if you say “LOL” rather than “haha!” using the smart reply, it will customize a response tailored to your liking. Allo also makes suggestions based on the visual recognition of pics. It might suggest saying, “Vroom!” after identifying a brand new corvette in your upcoming image post. Moreover, this state of the art app offers its own Google Assistant which is basically autonomous support to make day easiers and more organized. From meeting times to the score of games during the NBA Finals, Google Assistant understands queries and delivers requests. Duo is another social mobile app with a focus on video conversations. A unique feature is Duo Knock Knock which gives users a live preview of whoever’s calling before answering and seamlessly transitions both members into the conversation.
Pretty exciting right? Not everyone is sharing the enthusiasm and well-known British whistleblower, Edward Snowden, bashed Google’s choice of deactivating end-to-end encryption in the Allo App. According to the Independent UK, On May 19th, Snowden tweeted, “Google’s decision to disable end-to-end encryption by default in its new #Allo chat app is dangerous, and makes it unsafe. Avoid it for now.” This message was posted following Google’s Security Specialist, Thai Duong, blogging about similar concerns but removing the warning shortly after being published. Although it’s unclear whether or not Google asked him to delete his post, Duong later responded publicly by saying it was “not cool” to share the personal business of a company he works with even if it’s just his opinion. TechCrunch reportedly published his deleted content saying Duong wrote, “The Burning question now is: if incognito mode with end-to-end encryption and disappearing messages is so useful, why isn’t it the default in Allo?” Both Allo’s default and incognito mode are encrypted, but the former lets artificial intelligence provide its very own smart suggestions which is causing a stir among the public.
Don’t you find ironic that Duong said it was “not cool” to discuss private details of Google yet he is the one expressing how Google wants to extract its user’s private information? Oh Touche my friend! It is clear that like many things, corporate leaders want privacy to be a thing of the past if it isn’t already and continually moving in that direction.
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