Viber has followed WhatsApp example and is the latest messaging platform to add end-to-end encryption for its users.
If the FBI’s debacle involving an iPhone 5 has shown us anything, it’s the tech users do value their privacy. The resentment surrounding the court case to compel Apple to create a backdoor into a phone–a case that cost the taxpayers and Apple a lot of money in legal fees, and was intended to cause Apple to foot the bill for paying its engineers to create this magical security flaw–demonstrated consumers’ views on privacy rather nicely.
So it’s no surprise that more and more communication platforms are rolling out end-to-end encryption, meaning their clients’ texts, calls, and even group chats can now be more secure, from start to finish.
WhatsApp launched its encryption within days of the FBI declaring “thanks for not helping us, Apple, but we found some foreign hackers to do it.” The ultra-popular messaging and productivity app–which probably has more businesspeople collaborating on sensitive projects that require security than criminals plotting to break the law via a group text–has always offered a level of security during the sending of the message, but their end-to-end rollout means encryption at both the send and the receive. This helps thwart the old work-around of having the user’s cellular company turn over any messages that were sent or received through their servers.
Now, Viber has also unveiled its own end-to-end encryption in four of its top markets, also home to its research and development centers, to offer its 700+ million users the best security they can provide. In Viber’s case, the goals of the encryption are a little more targeted to specific types of users, as the feature offers a color-coded system of protection levels, red through green.
Viber’s model takes one huge thing into consideration, and that’s the shared device, an understandable concern considering that many of the platforms users are in what the tech industry still considers to be “emerging” markets. With this encryption, a use can be more aware that he may be talking to his girlfriend’s six-year-old or his boss’ wife on their shared Viber account, and might want to consider his words carefully.
While it’s easy to think WhatsApp, Viber, and other similar platforms have filled the privacy need as a response to recent data security and spying activity, end-to-end encryption is something that both companies have been working on for quite some time.