When Google announced the arrival of its new messaging application, Google Allo did stressing two things: the introduction of an intelligent assistant that develop new options, and privacy. In the second of these areas, Google has ended up not doing everything promised.
Google would theoretically apply retention policies very limited messages, but now has been known that the version of Allo is today launched stores all messages we send except incognito. We can only make sure that Google has no such messages if the user deletes them actively, something that worries privacy advocates. Edward Snowden himself has warned of the danger of using this application.
If you want privacy, watch Google Allo
In his Twitter account Snowden explained how Allo “is an application that stores all messages you send and available to the police in case of a request yours”.
In that tweet, Snowden does not mention that in the Allo Incognito Mode Google itself that protects users as it provides end to end encryption. However, Google have clarified that have had to make that change in the “normal” mode of this application messaging because that could improve the characteristic of “intelligent response” Allo, which generates responses according to the conversation is of a type or other.
As with other systems in which artificial intelligence is present, the idea here is to train this algorithm, and we need to enter data, or what is the same, interact with Google Allo to learn how we answer according to person or situation and may suggest these answers later.
The problem, as pointed out in The Verge, is that all these conversations that are not made in Incognito mode will be available forces and security forces. If there is a court request, our messages may be disclosed to these agencies, as already happens with emails from Gmail, Hangouts chats or location data that are being collected on our Android devices.
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Many alternatives, some prominent
The concern for privacy has made many solution providers instant messaging strive to try to offer features that protect their users. Telegram was one that seemed to have been much emphasis in this section, but recent studies show that this tool is probably not the best choice.
Interestingly WhatsApp, whom he was much criticized lack of a system that would protect the privacy of users, has finished implementing an encryption end to end solid by using the Signal protocol designed by Open Whisper Systems.
Edward Snowden takes time recommending the use of Signal, the application encrypts messages from end to end and although it appeared first on iOS and can be used in Android since late last year. The developer of this solution, Open Whisper Systems, has already become a benchmark for privacy and security applications.
Privacy involves compromises, as always
These recommendations do not imply that we have a perfect application or instant messaging absolutely recommended. Apart from the above there are other options in this segment: Apple iMessage, Dust, ChatSecure, Threema, Bleep, Cyphr or BlackBerry BBM known promise several advantages in this regard.Hangouts, yes, nothing.
These applications typically have some practical problems, as the fact of lacking desktop clients. Signal was happening for example, forcing to be used from mobile, which can be uncomfortable in certain scenarios. Fortunately their creators offer for some time an extension for Chrome that allows also use it on desktop PCs and laptops.
Another fundamental problem is that these applications often make use of closed and proprietary protocols. It is therefore possible audit systems encryption and other security mechanisms offered by these companies, and that makes it impossible to verify in many cases the security and privacy that promise is as effective as claimed by its creators.