Nothing Chats Beta App Pulled from Play Store Due to Privacy Concerns
Last week, Nothing CEO Carl Pei announced the launch of the Nothing Chats app, which was created in partnership with the Sunbird universal messaging platform to bring iMessage to Android users. However, The Verge reports that the app has been pulled from the Google Play Store and its launch has been delayed due to several bugs and major privacy concerns.
According to Texts.blog, the Nothing Chats app, as well as the Sunbird platform, require users to send their Apple ID info to their servers for authentication using a virtual machine running MacOS. This means that Sunbird has access to every message sent and received through the app, and messages are not encrypted, contradicting the previous claim that all Chats messages are end-to-end encrypted.
The discovery by Texts.com raises serious privacy concerns as users may have compromised their Apple ID and allowed attackers to view their photos, videos, contacts, notes, and more. This contradicts the FAQ on the Nothing website, which previously claimed that all Chats messages are secure and end-to-end encrypted.
Despite the issue with the Nothing Chats app, the decision by Apple to support RCS starting next year is not expected to be impacted. This announcement by Apple was seen as an attempt to get ahead of potential regulations by the EU’s Digital Markets Act. The Act could have forced Apple to add RCS support to the iPhone in the 27 EU member countries if iMessage was deemed a “gatekeeper.”
The delay in the launch of the Nothing Chats app highlights the importance of user privacy and data security in the tech industry. Nothing and Sunbird will need to address these privacy concerns before re-launching the app to ensure the safety and security of users’ messages and personal information.