When the whole world is fighting for the protection privacy and the rights of privacy of every individual, a privacy breach from Google will shock you. Google launched it’s very own personalized messaging app Google Allo in 2016. The app was not a major hit among messaging app users. The Google Allo app will show the results for user’s previous search history in the middle of a group conversation.
The app integrates with Google Assistant. After this news, we don’t think this Google Allo app will survive much longer. The Allo app can reveal your Google search history to the people you message. The glitch has major privacy implications.
So why is this glitch happening in Google Allo?
The glitch is going on because of Google Assistant. It is one of the biggest and most important aspects of Google Allo app. The Android users who have Marshmallow and Nougat, they can use the Google Assistant now. But in the past, the non-pixel users had to use Google Allo to use Google Assistant. You can use the Google Assistant to start a conversation with your friend. But sometimes, the Assistant will respond to questions in an absurd manner.
For instance, when a user asked the Assistant to identify itself, it showed a link of Harry Potter. It was not a random link. It was a link from the past searches he made. Such behavior shocked the users. The link was a part of user’s personal search. What’s worse is, Harry Potter was not mentioned for once in the conversation. It is a serious glitch which Google have to fix immediately because it is a risk to privacy. In this case, the link was a Harry Potter one, but it could be much more sensitive or personal data.
Google Allo can do much better than other messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger. The app combines the power of machine learning and search results to give the replies. The replies are not ended to end encrypted. Thus, it is easily acceptable to a third party. Yes, there is an incognito mode, but other chats are not secured either.
Is it the app’s issue?
The real sources of such glitches are in the software according to Wikileaks. The CIA can bypass into the WhatsApp end to end encryption and read the private messages as well. Thus, it is clear that the CIA is not the one who is hacking, but the device’s software is not secured enough to prevent your privacy.
According to other reports, Google Assistant is supposed to ask for permission before sharing any personal information in Allo chat. But the feature does not always work. Not only this, but the Google app will also reveal your personal data from Google Maps. Google issues a statement clearing they have fixed the issue, “We were notified about the Assistant in group chats not working as intended. We’ve fixed the issue and appreciate the report”.