So You Thought You Could Trust Google? Think Again…
Last month, Google launched its instant messenger service, Allo, which is set to be Android’s default messaging app. However, the consensus in the technology community so far is to avoid it due to the fact that it doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption as the default security mode.
Whilst end-to-end encryption is an option in Allo, to use it would mean disabling Google Assistant which is one of the app’s key selling points. Google Assistant is basically a rival to Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana. Here’s how Google explained it:
“The assistant is conversational – an ongoing two-way dialogue between you and Google that understands your world and helps you get things done. It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theater.”
All this sounds great right? Until you realise that to use this feature, your conversations can be used by Google (in any way they choose) and are vulnerable to potential hackers or law enforcement agencies.
What is more interesting with this story is that end-to-end encryption was originally the default setting, but the developer who created this feature was asked to remove it as Google are betting that the number of security conscious individuals will be small in comparison to those that want to utilise its Assistant. The burning question is, where do you stand?
Infamous whistle-blower, Edward Snowden is clear where he stands. He posted the following to his Twitter account: “Google’s decision to disable end-to-end encryption by default in its new #Allo chat app is dangerous, and makes it unsafe,” he added “Avoid it for now.”