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Top Story: Don't use this Google app if you're concerned about privacy

Top Story: Don't use this Google app if you're concerned about privacy
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What can't you do on the internet and your smartphone? Staying connected is a big part of technology. Thanks to networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google, you can talk to anyone in the world in just seconds ... and for free!

One downside to conducting so much of our lives online is the possibility of being spied on or having information stolen by a cybercriminal. We recently told you that 500 million Yahoo accounts were compromised. Google's new messaging app was designed to give us more privacy, but there's a catch.

Google's Allo is similar to Facebook's smartphone app Messenger, but with a twist. It has the same smart Google Assistant as Google Home built in.

That means you can message your friends and simultaneously ask Google Assistant to look up the nearest coffee shop or tell you where a movie is playing. Allo's chatbots will provide "smart replies," which suggest one-touch responses to messages. For example, if your friends send you a picture of them on a beach it might reply for you, "Have fun!"

When Google originally announced Allo, messages were only to be stored "transiently" and after time they would be automatically deleted. The company has changed that and now messages will be saved indefinitely unless both people in the chat delete them.

The change has some people worried about a loss of privacy. If messages are left stored on Google's servers, they could be accessed at a later time with a lawful request.

Google Allo does have a more secure option. When it's used in Incognito Mode, messages are nearly impossible to see by a hacker. While used in Incognito Mode, the app uses end-to-end encryption.

Messages in Incognito Mode are also not stored indefinitely. The catch is, while you're in Incognito Mode some of the great features like Google Assistant and smart replies won't work as well.

If having a more secure messaging app is more important, use Allo in Incognito Mode. If smart replies and Google Assistant is more important to you, just use Allo in its normal mode. Which do you prefer?

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Source: TechCrunch
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