Just two weeks after Whatsapp added end-to-end encryption, messaging app Viber announced they will be following the trend. With over 711 million users, Viber will now be providing end-to-end encryption for all chats and calls, including group chats.
What is end-to-end encryption?
End-to-end encryption means that only the sender and receiver will be able to access the data, text, photo or video that was sent. Which means you won’t have to worry about eavesdropping, from the government, Viber or any other third-parties.
All users who want this added protection will need to update to the latest version of Viber. Users can choose which contacts they want to authenticate by selecting them as “trusted”. “This will change the lock color to green, and if you ever see a red lock it means there is a problem with the authentication key. The breach may simply mean that a user has changed his or her primary phone. However, it can also indicate a man-in-the-middle-attack. To solve a possible breach state, the participant needs to be re-trusted,” Michael Shmilov explained in Viber’s blog post.
Viber also added a neat feature for users who might share their device with family, or let their friend use their phone. Viber users will be able hide specific chats from their main screen. Hidden chats can only be accessed with a pin code or by fingerprint identification.
Give the user what they want
Viber followed Whatsapp who followed Apple, after Apple’s court case in which Apple refused to grant the FBI access to an iPhone linked to one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple found a lot of support from big players in other industries. Users want to be certain that the platform on which they choose to communicate will be completely private and secure.
How do you think Viber and other SaaS businesses will benefit by providing their users with extra protection? Should all messaging and data sharing platforms be required to protect their users’ privacy?
I addressed this question to Viber, wondering what they see as the added value for their users. I will keep you posted once they respond.