Data privacy has been a hot-button topic in recent years, with individuals increasingly concerned about how their personal data is used to promote advertising content, how it’s used to create a target for fake news, the risk of unethical use of this data, and even using it to commit fraud or attack businesses. One of the central areas where data privacy is a concern is in messaging apps, which many of us use for personal as well as business communications, especially in this remote working environment. Here’s how some popular apps measure up and why Matrix may provide an answer.

Data Privacy is a Top Priority

In 2020, 70% of Australians stated that data privacy was a top concern, with 9 out of 10 consumers wanting more choice and control over how their personal information is collected and used. It’s even become the top concern when choosing a new device.

In early 2021, WhatApp’s announcement of a new privacy policy that would, ironically, reduce user privacy and allow the app to gather and share even more information than previously, caused people to flood onto competitors like Signal and Telegram in droves. But who really offers the best security and data privacy? Well, it’s all about encryption.

Data Encryption and Messaging Apps

Different types of encryption offer different levels of security, but they all generally work in the same way. When you send a message, it is intercepted by a server that secures and hides your message from everyone else, basically reducing your message into hidden and fairly unbreakable code.

End-to-end encryption, like that offered by Signal and WhatsApp, only allows you and the receiver to see your messages, and the company itself can’t read the content. Telegram has a different type of encryption called encryption-in-transit, which means no one can intercept your message when you send it, but the company’s servers themselves store the message in its unencrypted form, so they could read them from that source if they wanted to.

How is Matrix Different?

There are pros and cons to every messaging app in terms of security and privacy, but one of the biggest issues limiting people in terms of what apps they use is the apps being used by the people they are communicating with. If your co-worker, mom, or boss is on WhatsApp, that’s the app you need to use to chat with them. If they’re on Signal, then you need to have that app. Most of us end up with several messaging apps on our devices at any given time as a result.

Matrix is different in that it can be used across different apps and platforms, regardless of what app is being used to send or receive it. It’s a bit like sending an email – it doesn’t matter if you’re on Outlook and the other person is on Gmail. It can also plug into a lot of apps that are currently being used for remote working, like Slack, Discord, and IRC, by using a feature called Bridges.

It’s open-source too, which is exciting for anyone who likes to or needs to customise their communication servers. Currently, it’s used by Mozilla, the US armed forces, Red Hat, and others.

With our connected devices increasingly running our work and leisure lives, the issue of privacy is a big one – and this is an interesting solution.

At Otto, we’re all about making tech human – and that means delivering IT solutions that work for your business, make your life easier, and solve your problems rather than adding to them. Chat to our team today about managed IT services, IT support or upgrading your IT systems.