Viber aims to bolster privacy via self destructing 'secret chats'

Viber has also disabled the option to take screenshots of a timed chat on both Android and an iOS.


Messaging application Viber, which was bought by Rakuten - a Japanese ecommerce giant and is currently 800 million users strong, is now shifting its focus to provide its users with more secure features after the recent CIA leaks. It has launched a new feature called the 'Secret Chats' by which a user can opt to converse using self-destructing chats i.e. after the time period, given by the user, is over all the exchanged communication would be deleted.

This feature is an extension of "secret messages" that it had launched earlier which enabled the user to decide for how long a certain media file would be visible in a chat. Now the entire chat can be timed by the user to be destructed after the given time frame. This feature is not only limited to chats with one user to another but the time limit can also be set for group messages as well.

Moreover, Viber has eliminated the chance of anyone from keeping any record of this conversation via taking a snapshot of the chat, as it has disabled the option to take screenshots of a timed chat on both Android and iOS. If somebody takes a screenshot of the conversations, the user will be immediately notified. When the "secret chats" feature is on, users will not be able to forward any constituents of the chat to any other user. Moreover, there is also an option to set up a PIN on these secret chats.

This feature by Viber, which is all slated to roll out in the coming week is, perhaps, a sign of the messaging industry arming itself following the recent WikiLeaks disclosure, in which it was claimed that the CIA is able to hack even into end-to-end encrypted messages. This caused a major upheaval to bring about changes to combat this breach of privacy.

This article was first published on March 13, 2017