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Messaging Apps And The Renewed Focus On Privacy
Date: 8/31/2021

In 2021, the renewed focus on data privacy in every realm of daily life has bled over to one area which most people find themselves using frequently – messaging apps. As more and more people use messaging apps in place of in-person conversations, the issues with data privacy come into sharp focus. As a result, more messaging apps are putting in place privacy-focused features such as data encryption to cater to this growing need for data privacy.

Why Privacy?

The right to privacy dictates that each user has the right to keep their conversations private and confidential. Let us take a look at a few scenarios that would necessitate the implementation of privacy features in messaging apps:

Targeted Ads

One way for businesses to know you more as a consumer so that it can advertise to you in a more targeted fashion is to listen in on your conversations. This nefarious activity might be a way for messaging apps to make money in the long run. If you do not want targeted ads that use information from your conversations, you need to adopt an app that does not indulge in this practice.

Identity Theft

For those with bad intentions, it might be easy to use data from your conversations to steal your identity. In fact, many people use private messaging apps to share personal data, photos, and even documents like government-issued ID. In cases such as this, better privacy is essential if you want to avoid data theft and identity theft.

Protecting Sensitive Information

You might be using messaging apps to send and receive content of a sensitive or proprietary nature, whether in your personal or business dealings. Getting this data stolen might have disastrous consequences and this is where it is of utmost importance that your messaging app carries adequate focus on privacy.

Special Cases

There can be special cases where maintaining freedom of information is paramount and any loss of privacy might result in legal action or worse. For example, investigative journalists working to report on a regime that criminalized reporting might find it easy to incriminate people using data from messaging apps. Whistle-blowers might get their cover blown if they use non-secure messaging. To avoid such consequences, a focus on privacy is paramount.

Privacy Requisites

Therefore, in 2021, your messaging app needs to have the right privacy-focused features in order to be relevant. Here are some important things to look for:

End-to-End Encryption

This feature is an absolute must if you want your messaging app to be private. End-to-end encryption ensures that data is encrypted from your end and decrypted at the recipient’s end whenever you use a messaging app. No third party can access the unencrypted data in the middle of the chain. This makes your conversation virtually unreadable to anyone else.

Data Collection Policies

Whenever you open the door for a messaging app, take a close look at their data collection policies. Make sure you choose one that does not include a policy to share your personal data with advertisers for profit.

Open-Source

Open-source apps are often more transparent as their source code is easily available. Any nefarious activity would reveal itself in the code and become known to all easily. The developers have nothing to hide.

With this insight, it should be easy to understand the importance of privacy in messaging apps in 2021 and to choose one that ticks all the right boxes.