Whatever you do, don’t use Google Allo, says Edward Snowden

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Edward Snowden has warned people against using Google’s new chat app because it gives the company unprecedented access to all your conversations.

The search engine giant officially launched the Google Allo chat app after first announcing it earlier this year.

It has been billed as a possible rival to Whatsapp and comes with a built in assistant that enables you to chat like never before, offering up automatic responses to your conversations.

However, in order to do this it monitors and analyzes everything you type so that it can provide you with better responses in the future.

In a series of Tweets, Edward Snowden has advised anyone who is conscious about privacy or mass surveillance to stay well clear of the app.

Google has been heavily criticised for making a number of changes to Allo prior to its release.

The company had originally said that Allo would have end to end encryption and that conversations would only be stored temporarily when it first announced the app back in May.

However, when Google Allo was released earlier this week, there was no end to end encryption by default and user’s conversations are reportedly stored indefinitely.

Google does offer end to end encryption in Incognito Mode but this needs to be enabled and is not available by default.

Enabling Incognito Mode also means that users are unable to use many of the features in Google Allo, turning it into nothing more than a conventional chat app.

Responding to criticism a spokesperson for Google said: “We’ve given users transparency and control over their data in Google Allo.”

“And our approach is simple – your chat history is saved for you until you choose to delete it. You can delete single messages or entire conversations in Allo.

“We also provide the option to chat in Incognito mode, where messages are end-to-end encrypted and you can set a timer to automatically delete messages for your device and the person you’re chatting with’s device at a set time.”

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