Google Allo: An update and a concern?

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Google Allo is the new messaging app craze and you may remember our posting on the subject from a few weeks ago. In that blog, we mentioned that there were likely to be tweaks and changes as a result of issues and the first of such issues seems to have come to light.

It has been found that privacy issues may be a cause for alarm as it is reported that Google Allo keeps your messages indefinitely. We have done some research on this and understand that this is the default position. This means that whilst the above is true, users can manually delete their messages and then obviously the problem is solved. Of course this will not matter to the vast majority of people as no one fully knows how much data in the technology world is kept about ourselves etc and to some extent this is an accepted part of modern life. However to some this will be a little ‘unnerving’ to say the least and data concern will always be a tricky and touchy subject for the likes of companies like Google.

Don’t panic just yet, as the reason behind Google’s idea to store and keep messages on Allo seems a pretty innocent and plausible one. The decision was taken to do this because of the ‘smart reply’ function. Google is of the view that with a history of conversations available it will make the application work better as it will have something to follow and base itself on. This does make some sense in our view.

As mentioned above, the user will still have the control over the data storage and the incognito function can be used to ensure maximum security. The real question here is whether this should be an opt in or an opt out feature? In other words, Google Allo is storing messages by default, but giving the user the option to override that. Should this be the other way round? It will be interesting to see what happens with this in the coming weeks and whether there is any pressure towards Google Allo to change this policy.

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