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Google’s ‘Chat’ service a gift to cybercriminals: Amnesty

RCS is a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier

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Google's new Search feature gives single result to certain queries. Pixabay

Google’s decision to launch a new messaging service called “Chat” without end-to-end encryption shows utter contempt for the privacy of Android users and has handed a precious gift to cybercriminals and government spies alike, Amnesty International has said.

Communications on the new “Chat” service will not be sent over the Internet but through mobile phone carriers, like SMS text messages, according to reports.

Google Chat is becoming more famous.

In a statement to The Verge this week, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the new service will not use end-to-end encryption and that Google is “pausing investment” in its existing mobile messaging app “Allo” which has an option for end-to-end encryption.

“Not only does this shockingly retrograde step leave Google lagging behind its closest competitors — Apple’s iMessage and Facebook’s WhatsApp both have end-to-end encryption in place by default — it is also a step backwards from the company’s previous attempts at online messaging,” Joe Westby, a technology and human rights researcher at Amnesty International, said on Friday.

Also Read: Google Will Take Action If Apps Violate Its Policies

Amnesty International considers end-to-end encryption a minimum requirement for technology companies to ensure that private information in messaging apps stays private. End-to-end encryption is a way of scrambling digital data so that only the sender and recipient can see it.

When it is in place, even the company providing the service is unable to access the content of communications. “Following the revelations by CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden, end-to-end encryption has become recognised as an essential safeguard for protecting people’s privacy when using messaging apps. With this new Chat service, Google shows a staggering failure to respect the human rights of its customers,” Westby said in a statement.

A Google picture.
The Chat is a security threat. VOA

In the wake of the recent Facebook data scandal, Westby said that Google’s decision is not only dangerous but also out of step with current attitudes to data privacy. “Google should immediately scrap it in its current form and instead give its customers a product that protects their privacy,” Westby suggested.

Google is going all in on building the Rich Communication Services (RCS). RCS is a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier, aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text-message system that is more rich, provide phonebook polling and transmit in-call multimedia. IANS

Next Story

Google Quietly Removes its AI-Powered Camera Product ‘Google Clips’

Though Google provided a few updates to improve the overall performance of the camera, it failed to impress the potential users

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Google has retired its AI-powered camera product 'Google Clips', because the actual product listing has been removed from the companys online store. Pixabay

The US based search engine giant Google has quietly retired its AI-powered camera product ‘Google Clips’, because the actual product listing has been removed from the companys online store.

Google Clips was launched in 2017 for $249. It features a 12-megapixel sensor, 130-degree field-of-view lens and 8GB of internal memory.

Google
Google decides to discontinue the product because it was not able to create its special place in the market due to its high price. Pixabay

AI-powered Google Clips is a small camera designed to leverage modern technology in order to automatically capture and preserve life’s most memorable moments, 9TO5Google reported.

According to reports, Google is discontinuing the product because it was not able to create its special place in the market due to its high price. Beyond that, many users found that the camera did not function quite as well as they had hoped it would.

ALSO READ: Salesforce CEO Calls Facebook as ‘New Cigarettes’ for Kids

Though, the US based search engine giant provided a few updates to improve the overall performance of the camera, it failed to impress the potential users. (IANS)