Duo | Hangouts | Meet

Duo | Hangouts | Meet

Review date: 04/23/2020

Google Duo, Google Hangouts, Google Meet. The various options can be confusing - here's the breakdown: Google Duo is a simple video call app for up to 12 participants. Google Hangouts allows for video calls up to 25 participants, as well as phone calls and text chats. Google Meet is their business-grade video conferencing option, for up to 100 participants, built into the paid version of G Suite. There you have it.

What could happen if something goes wrong

Google Duo is end-to-end encrypted, which is good. Hangouts and Meet aren't but still use encryption. Google is a big company that does a good job on security, so your video calls will most likely be pretty secure. Many people are already using Google products and like the ease of use that offers. Others may be excited to use products that offer similar features but have been developed by open source or newer companies.

Privacy

What is required to sign up?

Users sign in with an email. It does not have to be a gmail address.

What data does it collect?

How does it use this data?

How are your recordings handled?

Recordings in all three apps can be initiated by the call host (or someone within the same organization as the host) and are saved in Google Drive. There isn't an option to record directly to an individual's internal hard drive.

Alerts when calls are being recorded?

Yes

People are notified when the recording starts or stops, but cannot control the recording.

Does the platform say it is compliant with US medical privacy laws?

Yes

Google video call apps are not compliant by default. Google video call apps can be HIPAA compliant. Please check with your healthcare provider to make sure their Google video service meets all the requirements.

Links to privacy information

Can I control it?

Is it easy to learn and use the features?

Yes

Google Duo is a simple app that only does video call and is easy to learn. Hangouts has a bit more to it, but still seems easy to grasp for an average users. For Google Meet, the feature set is somewhat limited compared to the other business-targeted apps in this guide, but the platform is intended for ease of use. Users can join calls directly in the browser or with an app. Their support articles are easily accessible and laid out in a logical fashion.

Security

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Google uses encryption on all three of its video chat apps. Google Duo is the only one of the three apps that claims to use end-to-end encryption.

Strong password

Yes

Both Hangouts and Meet require a strong password to login. Duo does not require a password as it is a simple calling app. Users can and should passcode protect their phone to keep unwanted people from making calls.

Security updates

Yes

Google updates these apps around three times a year, primarily to address compatibility issues and minor bug fixes.

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Google has a bug bounty program for security vulnerabilities

Privacy policy

Yes

https://policies.google.com/

Updates

Google Hangouts vs Google Duo – Which Should You Use?
Tech Junkie
When it comes to social media platforms, video calling, and messaging apps, however, Google took a little time to figure things out. There’s Google Duo and Google Hangouts, coexisting out there. Do you use just one or both? And how do the two apps compare?
Rethinking Zoom? How WebEx, Teams, and Google Meet and Duo Compare on Privacy and Security
Inc.
If you're among the many looking for a new video conferencing tool after adding "zoombombing" to your vocabulary, you're in luck. While a one-size-fits-all solution doesn't exist, there are many other options with proven security features. Here's a roundup of some of Zoom's competitors and their privacy and security features.
Medical Privacy Gets Complicated as Doctors Turn to Video Chats
Consumer Reports
Health comes first, privacy experts say, but when you have a choice, it's best to use a service that complies with HIPAA
The best alternatives to Zoom for videoconferencing
The Verge
If recent news has made you Zoom-hesitant, there are other apps available
Google Meet video conferencing is now free with unlimited time for calls and AI noise minimisation
Evening Standard
From Facebook to Houseparty, WhatsApp and Zoom, every app with a video chat aspect is surging at the moment. Google Meet, the tech giant’s enterprise video conference platform, is no different with Google announcing it will offer the service for free to all customers during the lockdown.

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