Guest article by Jaime Escuder
If you read the Threema blog, you’re probably someone who understands the value of end-to-end encryption to protect your communication and your messages. But did you know that metadata can reveal more about you than the actual message content?
Every message that you send leaves a trail of so-called metadata. This can include a record of extensive information of who you talk to, your online status, and the composition of your groups. It can even be used to determine where you are when your messages are sent.
Not only companies and social networks know that this information is of utmost value. Also governments and hackers know that metadata can be used to learn intimate things about you, which is why metadata surveillance has become routine. In fact, in 2013 the Guardian reported on the United States’ National Security Agency’s massive metadata collection program.
Good news for iOS users. Threema Web for iOS is coming along great. We are close to the finish line, but there is still quite some work ahead. We’re anticipating a public beta by May. Stay tuned for more information. Thank you for your patience!
The aim of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to improve the data privacy of EU citizens and to make services with insufficient privacy protection accountable. The new law will enter into force in May 2018.
Security and privacy protection have always been Threema’s guiding principles. No technical adjustments were necessary to meet the GDPR requirements. Hence, nothing changes for Threema users.
When lively discussions occur in group chats, it’s easy to lose track. It often happens that some members engage in a conversation that is of little interest to the others. This is where (temporarily) muting the group comes in handy. However, this involves the risk of reading an important message too late or missing it altogether due to the flood of incoming messages.
Thanks to the new “mention” feature, this is now a problem of the past: Address group members by mentioning them, and they will receive a notification even if the group is muted (if configured accordingly). Simply type an “@” character in the text field, and select the desired contact to mention them.
As to be expected, the “mention” feature was implemented with privacy and security in mind. When mentioning someone, not their name but their Threema ID is sent, which prevents privacy leaks. If the mentioned Threema ID matches a contact in a recipient’s address book, the appropriate name is displayed instead of the Threema ID.
Mentions are fully supported in Threema for Android. On iOS, mentions are displayed correctly but cannot be created at this time. For Windows Phone, the next app update will add support for displaying mentions.
Threema 3.4 for Android contains numerous other changes and additions, including improvements for Threema Web. For all the details, please consult the change log.
Threema calls enjoy great popularity. Thanks to end-to-end encrypted voice calls, privacy advocates can talk on the phone with a clear conscience – tap-proof and in brilliant voice quality.
Today, Threema for iOS gets a small but useful feature: While a Threema call is ongoing, you can continue to use the app like you normally would. On the call screen, simply tap the arrow in the top left corner, and you’re back in the app. Accessing the app while on the phone might come in handy if, for example, you want to send your conversation partner your current location or a document to be discussed.
To learn more about the other improvements the 3.0.6 update contains, please refer to the change log.
Instant messaging is today’s go-to means of communication. Being fast and straightforward, it is indispensable in the corporate environment. Employees have become to rely on text messages since it’s often more convenient and efficient to text a colleague or partner rather than calling them on the phone or sending an email. However, many of the used chat apps aren’t suitable for business purposes, don’t meet legal data-privacy requirements, and are used under the radar, as “shadow IT”.
The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
100 days to go: Companies operating in Europe must comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by May 25, 2018. The new law is a step in the right direction: It strengthens the rights of Internet users, protects their privacy, and punishes offenders. In summary, the following can be said in regard to chat services:
Conventional chat services may only be used for strictly private purposes. As soon as corporate contact data is stored on the phone, it is no longer considered strictly private use.
The use of conventional messengers for business purposes is a plain violation of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation.
Conventional chat services require access to the address book and collect user data. When using such a service, the contact data in the address book is read, processed, and possibly shared. This is not compliant with the new GDPR unless prior consent was given by every person whose contact data is contained in the address book. Affected contacts cannot make use of their “Right to be forgotten” (this right empowers individuals to request the deletion of their personal data). In addition to contact data, conventional chat apps often collect other user data, e.g., the location, information about the mobile network, or other details about the user’s activity within the app.
The situation is quite clear. Conventional messengers are incompatible with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and companies should refrain from using them. Non-compliance with the GDPR can result in heavy fines.
Take this opportunity, and equip your company with a solid business messenger. A messenger that protects the privacy of your employees and partners as well as your corporate data. A messenger that offers efficient administration and user management and allows to strictly separate personal and professional use. In short: Threema Work
Try Threema Work now – free trial
The digital transformation reaches into more and more areas of our lives. Internet, smartphone, and apps have long become indispensable, and all our online activities generate data. Often, this data is systematically collected and analyzed. At first glance, this may seem harmless. However, the more data is collected, the more detailed is the picture that can be drawn of the individual Internet users.
Once the data is acquired, it can be duplicated at will and preserved indefinitely. For what purposes the data can and will be used is uncertain; it might lead to totally unforeseen conclusions about the users that generated it. In order to raise awareness for the dangers of a decline in privacy, the Data Privacy Day was established. This holiday is held annually on January 28.
With Threema, every day is Data Privacy Day, but today the app is 50% off.
The 50% sale ends on Sunday, January 28, at 10 p.m. CET.
As the year draws to a close, iOS users get another Threema update. While version 3.0.5 is primarily focused on bug fixes, this update also packs some small new features. For instance, the length restriction for text messages was removed. Very long messages will be split and sent as multiple separate messages.
For an overview of all improvements and additions, please refer to the change log.
The latest Threema for Android incorporates a host of new emojis. Counting over 2600 different emojis (803 more than before), Threema now covers the full emoji set of Unicode 10.0 and Emoji 5.0.
Fans of the cute chat symbols will be pleased about the various new ways to express themselves. Here are some examples:
On Android and iOS, the same emojis are used. You can be sure that your emojis look exactly the same on the recipient’s end and evoke the intended emotions.
In addition to new emojis, the 3.3 update also includes other improvements, such as the option to automatically download incoming media files. In “Settings > Media & Storage > Automatically download media”, you can specify whether images and voice messages should be downloaded automatically when connected to a certain network type (Wi-Fi or mobile).
To get an overview of all improvements and additions, please refer to the change log.
Threema Work introduces a groundbreaking innovation: Threema MDM. With this unique administration tool, the Threema Work app can be remotely configured from the management cockpit. This way, you can be sure that the app is set up correctly on the users’ mobile devices. Another highlight of the new management cockpit is the dashboard, which provides detailed insight into the usage of Threema Work.
App configuration with Threema MDM
Until now, the remote configuration of Threema Work required MDM software. Thanks to Threema MDM, every Threema Work administrator is now able to remotely set up the app for the users. For example, you can enable or disable contact synchronization with a single click. And if you define all profile settings in Threema MDM, your users are relieved from completing the initial setup process.
There’s even more to Threema MDM. You can selectively restrict the use of the app. For instance, disable voice calls, or limit the communication to internal contacts (closed user group).
Stay informed with the new dashboard
The management cockpit’s new dashboard keeps you up to date about the usage of your licenses. At a glance, you see, for example, how many users are active and on which operating systems the app is installed. Of course, your employees’ privacy is fully protected. The evaluated data is completely anonymized, and no personally identifiable information is collected.
See for yourself: Test Threema Work now
A new Threema version for Windows Phone is ready for download. In addition to various under-the-hood improvements, the 2.1.0 update introduces some new features. For example, you can now hide inactive contacts, search the chat overview and the contact list, and set a password for ID revocation.
To learn more, please refer to the change log.
iPhone X owners will be pleased with today’s Threema update as it introduces support for their shiny new device. The 3.0.2 update also improves compatibility with iOS 11, and Threema now keeps in account the iOS Dynamic Type setting.
The update includes several other improvements. An overview of all changes and additions can be found in the change log.
Threema Work extends the functionality and convenience of the app with an important feature for security- and privacy-conscious businesses and organizations: tap-proof voice calls.
Threema calls are captivating with brilliant voice quality. Of course, calls are also end-to-end encrypted and meet the highest security requirements. With Threema Work, making phone calls is now just as secure and trustworthy as with regular Threema messages.
Neither a SIM card nor a phone number is required to use Threema calls. This allows you to make voice calls even on tablets or iPads.
Threema calls are extremely easy to use and free for anybody using WLAN or a flat rate mobile plan. This makes Threema Work especially attractive for secure internal voice communication – even across country borders.
Threema calls are available starting with Threema Work 3.0.1 (iOS) and 3.21k (Android).
To learn more, please refer to this page.
A new Threema version for Android is ready for download. While the 3.21 update is primarily focused on under-the-hood improvements, it also includes a new feature that might come in handy.
If you ever wanted to create a reminder for unresolved issues in a conversation, you can now do so with visual markers. In the chat overview, simply swipe right on a chat to mark it, and the chat will be labeled with a yellow stripe.
In addition to the ability to mark chats, the update introduces a range of further improvements. For more detailed information, please refer to the change log.
The latest Threema version for iOS addresses some bugs and includes small improvements in regard to Threema calls.
To learn more, please refer to the changelog.