Globally iOS is about 15% to 20% max. So the onus would be on Apple to integrate RCS into iMessage in order to reach the majority of the market.
I can't see RCS succeeding anyway but it won't be because of Apple. It'll be because it took 11 years to come to market and even my dentist uses WhatsApp now.
Apple's only responsibility is to itself, and its shareholders.
This will be driven by carriers turning off legacy SMS and MMS servers the same way they turned off 2G GSM.
Where? In Canada I use MMS every day.
It would also probably regress iOS Apple’s customers have already paid money for.
How is any of that morally “the right thing”?
The fact that some corporations act ruthlessly and mercenary with regards to human rights and individual suffering (like Facebook in the recent data scandal), does not abrogate our collective and individual obligation to a higher ethical practice.
I'm arguing that any such constructed framework is merely fiction. Only what we actually enforce matters, but that there is a distinction between a moral obligation enforced by some concept of being moral or immoral and social obligations enforced by social reaction. I then point out that social obligations are flawed (not that we shouldn't use them, but we should be aware of their flaw).
>Yes, building a justice system, laws, social norms and culture is hard.
And these are different than moral obligations. Laws are enforced by the state. Social norms and culture are enforced by different social reactions, anything from 'tut tutting' and social disapproval to outright violence.
>That doesn't mean we should give up on figuring it out.
I'm not saying we should give up. I'm saying that trying to use moral obligations as the tool is no more useful than using religious obligations are (outside of a theocracy, though in that case religious and legal obligations co-mingle). I'm saying we should use social and legal obligations instead.
So by abandoning ethics you are actually cutting off a source for improvements of our social and legal norms.
I'd also would like to point out that it doesn't follow from being constructed that something is 'merely fiction'. Everything in humanities is constructed (and some would even argue that everything in science is constructed). The question is: does it impact our lives? And ethical reasoning obviously does it.
If Google prioritized the privacy of users thet would build a similar product as the default Android messaging service, hopefully as an open platform.
I have been very reluctant to switch to Android for precisely this reason. It represents a lack of concern for user privacy.
I wish Apple would open the protocol.
I still want something that federated, secure(able) and easy to self-host. But I really don't see the need for another iMessage.
Of course Google is only implementing RCS here. That would be the agreed (with governments & telcos) standard, the result of regulation. Needless to say, it totally exposes everything to government, and to telcos, and to "interoperability providers" (which Google would be). It is strictly worse than Google when it comes to privacy. I think it includes more than just their chat messages, it seems to include things where you'd be like "why does this need to be part of chat ?" like location.
And it comes with a little something for telcos that I doubt anyone here will like : per-message billing. On the plus side: it will work without a data subscription (I think). On the minus side: per-message billing, with or without data subscription.
So the net effect is that people are being deceived - by amnesty no less - into pressuring Google and governments to expose more of their private information to more parties.
Unfortunately what this does mean is that Google is now caving to government demands - full exposure of everyone's information all the time, without any reason or oversight. Not just to the government, but because the government is also incompetent and can't be bothered to actually store these or make them searchable, they demand you also give all telcos access to it (who will then store it and make it accessible to government agents), and we all know most of those telcos will outsource actually doing this, because they're government monopolies.
Sharing current location with contacts is a pretty basic feature.
* At the time I was using Android, they were using a plethora of dark patterns to force me to continuously share my location with the "Google Maps" application, even if not in use. Indicating that they weren't just slurping the location info via Android. Most likely because of legal concerns: there are plenty of alternatives to the "Google Maps" application, there are only 2 widely adopted mobile OSes; the spectre of anti-monopoly action looms large.
* There are legal arguments to be made to prevent my operator from profiting from my location information.
> Commercial privacy of location information in the United States
> The U.S. does limit commercial use of location information under the (US) Telecommunications Act, at 47 CFR §222. The Telecommunications Act, at 47 CFR §222(f), requires consent from the subscriber, and prohibits telecommunication common carriers from accessing location information for purposes other than system operation without consent of the customer. Businesses such as LocationSmart, which provide a tracking service based on subscriber information, require mobile users' consent prior to tracking.
* Right, my point. Google knows where you are.
* "customer consent" could that not just be a buried paragraph in the contract you signed to get the plan?
There have been ways to tell friends where we are since forever, no need to let Google know. My GPS is turned off, I could buy a phone without it.
I want to be able to share my location with Google so that they can share it with one of my contacts. I then want Google to discard that information. I don't want them to share it with other parties unless I consent specifically to each instance. My consent should be informed (a lot of problems would be solved if we just held businesses to higher standards in terms of disclosing their business practices).
I'm even OK with certain exceptions that are consistent with principles that Western civilization is built on. For example if Google retains that information for a period of time solely for the purpose of complying with a lawful search by the police, for which a warrant was obtained based on a reasonable and specific suspicion, I'm OK with that.
We don't need to throw the baby out with the bath water.
On the flip side, if communication with your contacts is encrypted end to end [possibly with law enforcement agencies with a warrant having access to decryption keys], then no matter how much monetary incentive Google has to violate your privacy, they can't.
How about we build systems that keep creepy stalkers at bay by design? What happened with "can-do" attitude in the hacker-sphere?
The feature being discussed here is literally the ability to manually press a button to send your location to your contact. With the new Android permission model you can even block the app from reading your permissions when not using it.
I dug up the RCS5.1 spec . RCS location is not a benign feature where a user is sharing its location every once in a while by pressing a button. RCS location appears to be continuously broadcasted on unsecured channels, open to third party middle men, for example Google, Verizon or three letter agencies. Note the last bullet point, "Geolocation". Perhaps I'm reading this wrong, and this is not yet another veiled attempt at commercial surveillance. Please educate me.
From Section 3.7, Social Presence Information:
In the EAB, the contact information is extended with social presence information and foresees the following attributes:
* Availability, indicates the user’s (un)willingness to communicate,
* Geolocation, depicts the user location
Once User A has accepted User B as an RCS authorized contact, User B will be able to see the geolocation information of User A (displayed with a text or a map, or both of them) and all updates of that information.
Frankly there is no way that Google's RCS app streams your location to any endpoint without an explicit opt in in the app. I'll eat my hat if I'm wrong.
Google has many choices: don't implement clear-text geolocation presence, don't implement RCS, speak up in the standards committee, communicate the implication to Google users, etc. Google chose to silently use a dark pattern to enable 24/7 location snooping.
"Share with your friends" means "Share with your friends, and we'll snoop/aggregate everything that's ever shared by anyone using our platform in perpetuity and use it to subvert your will, haha 'private communication' is so XX century".
RCS is yet another excuse to implement this dark pattern, with explicit provisions to include unencrypted 24/7 geolocation information in it. Google just rehauled their Android messaging strategy around RCS. They deserve to be called out on it.
PS. You claimed "The feature being discussed here is literally the ability to manually press a button to send your location to your contact." Until you take that back as factually false [it's continuously sending, not gated by a button press per send], we're done here.
B. The ability to manually press a button to send your location to your contact without man-in-the-middle snooping.
All I'm saying is that B is better than A, for me personally and for our society at large.
They did have a choice to adopt it themselves.
It's only a "step backwards" if you for some reason don't consider decentralized, standardized protocols implementable by anyone superior to centralized, closed-source walled-garden services.
RCS could have been amazing as a general-purpose protocol for short datagrams that could be sent/received in areas where you can't get a data connection. It would effectively enable every chat app to work when the network is under load but carriers opted for the walled garden.
Google is stuck working with things their partners will support. They can't reliably be dictatorial like Apple can.
If they never shipped an RCS client and made Allo part of the required Android install for Play Services compliance, who is going to stop them?
They choose not to be dictatorial.
The article doesn't either. Yet somehow you were at the bottom of the page for me. I don't understand why.
If they bought out another competitor all that would happen would be one more chat client that 20% of your contacts use if that.
With RCS, in order to supplant SMS it requires co-operations with telco. It's there to see increase base line support.
Maybe telco would have been okay with e2e encryption although I highly doubt it. Once the baseline RCS standard is put in place. It maybe possible to implement e2e with an OTR client side extension.
RCS is the successor to or replacement of SMS/MMS. I for one will be happy when I no longer have to ask: "how do you want me to send that to you? Email WhatsApp or telegram?"
I don't think it's even about whether they would be "ok" with it, telcos are highly regulated, it is probably illegal to have e2e crypto in a carrier protocol in some jurisdictions.
Apple defaults to secure if iOS users are texting each other. Google has always done the opposite. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Google is the one who’s business model depends on sucking up as much content as possible.
Why would anyone who cares about encryption have been using it for the almost decade up till now?
Reference to some of the things that happened back then:
Blame lazy, cash obsessed carriers if you want to blame anyone. Next we will be blaming Google for making a phone app that only uses A5/1 stream cipher which the FBI can intercept and decrypt easily when they want to snoop.
Yes Google failed so many times to compete with iMessage, but they did try. I can't blame them to rethink their strategy, I mean most people are using SMS already, I for one would like to at least be able to send full res photos.
The first is that RCS is a flawed specification with inappropriate features for the modern world and shouldn't be adopted. It's being pushed hard by carriers, among others.
The second is that somehow Google has ended up as the punching bag for this gripe for the crime of implementing RCS. I mean... no, that's not really fair (and most of the folks here really should know better). But... meh. I mean, they still implemented it.
People need to stop looking to carriers and software giants to secure their privacy. There are multiple good options in the open source world for secure messaging. We need to be pushing those.
Also it's ridiculous that Google never made a simple WhatsApp clone.
There's the new Purism phone but it probably won't be able to run WhatsApp.
Unfortunately, support for Nexus devices will soon be gone and the Pixel 2 devices with pre-installed CopperheadOS are quite pricey for private use.
Not really possible.
Edit: forgot the Kindle Phone..
Proprietary apps have stronger lock-in and better marketing.
> the open apps, in order to gain adoption, have to compete with the proprietary apps by actually working better.
Yes. I'm hoping enough people will think Matrix's protocol bridges constitute “working better”.
Riot seems pretty adequate already, although maybe it doesn't have enough emoji, animated stickers and poking for some people's liking. (Also, get off my lawn, bloody kids.)
WhatsApp provides an APK download so you don't need the play store to get it: https://www.whatsapp.com/android/
- There were multiple manufacturers.
- Despite of MS' bad reputation, the platform was surprisingly open and flexible. Not as much as Android, but certainly more than iOS.
- UI-wise, it was on par with the two big players. I would argue it was even better, at least more innovative.
Unfortunately, it failed due to devs ignoring it (especially large players), and probably MS' notorious schizophrenic behavior resulting in constant zig-zag courses.
There was no decent map for car navigation, but that could have been reasonably easy to fix.
This was OK when it worked, but it had a habit of freezing the phone and requiring a reboot. Also, it would refuse to start if there was no mobile signal, so I would frequently have to drive a few miles from my destination (I always seemed to end up somewhere with no signal) before I could start navigating home.
How do you remove Microsoft from a Windows phone and not have to use any of their services or be tracked by them?
>Unfortunately, it failed due to devs ignoring it
I don't think the devs, they had remaining, could keep up with all of the osbourning they were doing.
This was denied by Google, isn't?
I always have to plug LineageOS on articles like this. It's a wonderful Android ROM which provides additional privacy settings and which you don't have to install Gapps with. I'm happily using a modern smartphone without a single piece of software from the Big Five tech companies.
However, once RCS is implemented by the carriers, I see no reason Google's Allo couldn't be updated to use RCS and still implement an encryption layer on top of it.
This is exactly what is happening.
What value does it really add to customers? The value to Google is it’s a protocol they don’t have to maintain and an excuse to ignore encryption.
Edit: Title change made my wording look like a drunk redditor stumbled over to HN. The original title was "Google Accused of Showing 'Total Contempt' for Android Users' Privacy". I too accused Google of 'Total Contempt'.
What Gboard sends to Google:
- Gboard sends your searches to Google's web servers to give you search results.
- Gboard also sends usage statistics to Google to let us know which features are used most often and to help us understand problems if the app crashes.
What Gboard doesn't send to Google:
- Other than your searches, Gboard doesn't send anything you type to Google, whether it's a password or chat with a friend. Gboard will remember words you type to help you with spelling or to predict searches you might be interested in, but this data is stored only on your device. This data can't be accessed by Google or by any apps other than Gboard.
- If you’ve turned on contacts search in Gboard search settings, this allows Gboard to search the contacts on your device so you can easily share. None of these queries are sent to Google.
> "[Federated Learning] works like this: your device downloads the current model, improves it by learning from data on your phone, and then summarizes the changes as a small focused update," scientists Brendan McMahan and Daniel Ramage said. "Only this update to the model is sent to the cloud, using encrypted communication, where it is immediately averaged with other user updates to improve the shared model."
I no longer have to use all [n] chat apps installed on my phone just because for each of them, there are a few people only contactable via that particular app.
All messaging apps could feed into the system messages app, you'd see it all in one place and could read/reply/etc regardless of what app was actually doing the messaging. From what I could see it worked really well.
I really don't understand Google. Wasn't Allo a tent-pole item at Google I/O a year or so ago, and now it's no longer being invested in?
Google has developed a habit of trying multiple approaches to any given thing, and keeping what's most successful. For definitions of "successful" that aren't always what the rest of us might expect.
My first message went to my wife, who's on an iPhone. It was really difficult to suss out exactly how Allo wanted to handle this conversation... It seemed to both want to fallback to a default SMS while also trying to do some of the Google Assistant things, failing at both.
There are certainly some countries where the vast majority of users are Android, but it seemed pretty unfathomable to me that they'd push a product that didn't function appropriately cross-platform.
I always use and suggest to other Android users the NoRoot Firewall , and then disable/uninstall everything not needed. Of course that applied to IT pros, as tweaking things without the appropriate knowledge may/will result to a phone bricking/reset.
I messaged a pic from my android to my email to edit. Instead of an attachment, it was uploaded and I got a link to an auto shared photo album in my google account.
If I'd sent it to someone else I'd have never known because I don't use google photos at all.
I understand saving bandwidth and trying to get people using account features, but no thanks.
My default is to assume anything uploaded will eventually be public via hackers or a misconfiguration somewhere.
In the past it would send it as an attachment. =\
In general, my problem with these apps is that you shift your trust from one company to another. I have no idea who created this app, what their motives are, how securely they guard their signing key and so on.
I don't think we can start from this premise anymore. This premise is precisely what is under question.
The laissez faire framing of this premise is: (1) users can use whatever services they want. (2) services have terms and conditions (3) don't like it, don't "sign it."
The frame that is taking shape (eg, GDPR, Zuck's parliamentary question time grilling) is different. Terms & Conditions are not a contract. Take it or leave it propositions are not OK (especially not for monoplies). They're a disingenuous game that does not represent an agreement in any way. Your actual agreement with customers is dictated by law and custom, and these are going to be updated.
South Park paradied this concept with the human centipod. It sounds simpler than it is, because our legal systems are ancient and ridiculous. Our legal systems can't, for example, just say "don't spy on everyone." It must define spying in minute detail, while trying to avoid loopholes and bycatch. This is why laws are so complicated.
But regardless... terms and conditions have reached well into the "reduced to absurdity" point.
Bing, Duck Duck Go, Fastmail, Protonmail, iCloud, Vimeo
Twitter, Ello, Signal, 500px
It isn’t like Google and Facebook control access to steel thus making it impossible to build a new product.
So yes, you can just not use the service. I don’t use Facebook, Insta or What’s App anymore. No big deal for me at all; I just asked actual friends on Facebook for their email addresses. I share photos with iPhoto shared galleries, I use iMessage or Signal, I use Twitter.
Suggesting that we are obligated to accept terms and conditions is nonsense.
That is the legal definition of a monopoly. Legally, at least in the US and the EU, one does not have to be the sole provider of something to have monopoly power.
And, quite frankly, I do not care if there are competitors or not. No one likes these terms, no one wants these terms, and no one sure as hell wants the company to be able to say, "Take it or leave it." So I'm perfectly happy with regulation saying they can't do that.
SMS is in decline because it has poor user experience. This helped provide security to users who decided to use other chat services. Now, if the experience is good enough users might flock back to using insecure communication.
Nothing will change.
I don’t know that a smartphone has to cost $650, but I don’t think most US corporations will sign up to deliver a $150 smartphone that doesn’t mine your privacy.
Also I'm less concerned about Google having my data than my messages being sent plaintext through carriers.
That's the problem. A market without competition is a cabal.
-- George Bernard Shaw