Threema

Threema

Threema GmbH
Wi-Fi

Review date: Sept. 8, 2021

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Not creepy

This Swiss-made, privacy-focused text and video call app is open-sourced, based on privacy by design principles and saw it’s downloads take off earlier in 2021 when WhatsApp announced controversial change to their privacy policies. Threema touts it’s $2.99 app as a service that can be used completely anonymously (which, yay!, but we always caution about things being completely anonymous, it’s really hard to make anything completely anonymous). Threema is one of the best privacy-focused messaging apps we have seen, with its end-to-end encryption, no phone number required to sign up, and its commitment to not collect user data. Yay for privacy-focused apps!

What could happen if something goes wrong?

You love to see a privacy focused app like Threema where the answer to the question, “What could happen if something goes wrong?” is truly, “Likely, not much.” End-to-end encryption. Check. No need to sign up with anything that could be linked to you like a phone number or email address. Check. Does not collect user data. Does not target ads in any way. Check and check! What little data does pass through the Swiss-based servers is deleted very quickly. Check. No known security breaches. Check! Threema really does check all the privacy-focused boxes. They even opened up the source code for their artificial intelligence features like face detection. We absolutely love to see transparency when it comes to the use of AI! Good work Threema! We’d say Threema is well worth the $2.99 price (however, this shows once again that good privacy is rarely ever free).

mobile Privacy Security A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: N/A

App: No

What can be used to sign up?

Threema sets up an 8-digit Threema ID for all users

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

According to Threema, the data is processed exclusively by Threema on its own server infrastructure in Switzerland and is not passed on to third parties.

How can you control your data?

All data is only stored until deleted by the user. Once the information is deleted, it cannot be restored. In case of loss of the end-user device, mobile phone numbers and email addresses linked to a Threema ID can be deleted via the following link: https://myid.threema.ch/unlink

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Great

No known history of data breaches or leaks.

Can this product be used offline?

N/A

User-friendly privacy information?

Yes

A good example of a short and concise privacy policy, accompanied by detailed transparent papers on everything from encryption to FAQ addressing numerous possible concerns.

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Full end to end encryption of chats & calls, by default.

Strong password

Yes

Threema allows various security passwords, namely PIN codes to log in, passphrases and lock codes to protect chats.

Security updates

Yes

Automatic updates from the respective app store or with a built-in updater.

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Dedicated contacts for security issues are provided. On top of that, external security experts are commissioned to conduct security audits on a regular basis.

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

Yes

Some features such as face detection for photos are AI-based. Threema uses this AI facial recognition to find faces in images to blur them out for privacy. Good work Threema! And their AI code is open source. Anyone who is interested can look at the code.

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

Yes

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine


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