Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Phone Apps Get Privacy-conscious

Published: Jul 29, 2013 06:24:06 AM IST
Updated: Jul 26, 2013 01:35:49 PM IST
Phone Apps Get Privacy-conscious
Image: Sameer Pawar

Over-the-top content is proving to be a headache for telecom companies. Mobile apps such as Whatsapp, Viber, Line and WeChat offer messaging and voice services over the internet, chipping away at the revenues of telecom companies.

OTT services also raise questions about privacy. Many of these apps access contacts and send messages on the users’ behalf. When you install Viber, for example, it informs your contacts automatically. Similarly, there are concerns about how much data gets stored and where.  

All these have led to a second wave of OTT apps that promise to encrypt your calls and messages, and not store your data. TextSecure lets you send encrypted messages. Redphone does the same for calls. Gopi Addanki, whose app letsxprs lets you send encrypted SMS/MMS, says consumers often don’t even read the user agreement. If they did, they will start thinking about these issues more seriously.

(This story appears in the 09 August, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)