Since its release yesterday, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based messaging app, Google Allo, has been scrutinized in and out. How good is the app, how efficient is its AI-based assistant, how different is it from its competitors like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and the biggest question being asked is how safe it is? It is well known that Google Allo, though features end-to-end encryption, is not entirely encrypted. For the app s AI-based features like smart reply feature and response suggestions to work, the app demands more and more access to a user s information. Though these features make the app pretty interesting, many have questioned how safe would that be. Also Read - New avatar of Google Chrome’s offline dinosaur game: How you can play
Just yesterday, Edward Snowden also took to his Twitter account to warn users against Google s new messaging app. Snowden says messaging app isn t entirely encrypted it will keep records of every information that a user shares on the app, like content, location, or any other personal information, which Google could possibly share further. Consequently, he strongly recommended people to not use Allo. Further, many reports also suggest that Google by default will store all non-incognito messages on its servers in order to improve its AI bot service. These messages could include sensitive information a user shares not realizing that it may be accessible by Google as well. These reports oppose Google s earlier claims about how the app will only store messages transiently and in non-identifiable form. Also Read - Best camera phones under Rs 35000 to buy in July 2021: Pixel 4a, Mi 11X, and moreAlso Read - Timex Helix Smart 2.0 with temperature sensor, heart rate sensor launched: Details here
Google has a very simple explanation to the way its new messaging app functions in terms of encryption and safety. A Google spokesperson told Mashable, “We’ve given users transparency and control over their data in Google Allo. And our approach is simple your chat history is saved for you until you choose to delete it.” ALSO READ: Edward Snowden warns against Google Allo, says WhatsApp, Signal are safer
Even though the Google Allo messaging app is not entirely encrypted, it does feature in-built encryption, just that it takes a little bit of extra steps to follow, and a slight bit of precautions to maintain. You can follow the following measures to happily enjoy Google Allo without worrying about security of your personal data.
If it s personal, delete it
Google has clearly mentioned that the app keeps a log on its servers of information that a user shares on the app only till a user leaves it up on the app. The moment a user pulls down the information, it erases from its servers as well. Which means, if unknowingly you share any sensitive information on the messaging app, be sure to immediately delete it, which would also pull down those details from Google s end. Also, remember to ask the recipient of the information to erase that information as well to scrub off that content entirely from Google s server.
If it s a secret, go incognito
While Google by default saves all messages on its servers unless deleted, the rule is in exception to the incognito mode of the messaging app. Therefore, when you have a sensitive information to share, open a conversation and select the incognito mode. The entire app may not be encrypted, but the incognito mode of the app offers end-to-end encryption, which means, any information shared between a sender and a recipient remains between just the two.
Having said that, the incognito mode of Google Allo has a downside to it too. The sole mode which has encryption eschews all of the AI features that makes the app standout.