Google targets RCS privacy gains in global push - Mobile World Live

Google targets RCS privacy gains in global push

20 NOV 2020

Google completed an effort to bring Rich Communications Services (RCS) to Android users worldwide and outlined plans to turn its attention to boosting encryption to improve user privacy.

The company stated in a blog RCS is now available globally through its Messages app, though a map of availability indicated China, Russia, Iran and Cuba were exceptions.

Google said its efforts spanned “the past few years”, though it stepped-up its deployment in June 2019.

Beta testing of end-to-end encryption of messages is due to begin later this month and run into 2021, initially targeting one-to-one conversations between people using the Messages app with RCS features enabled.

Eligible conversations will automatically be upgraded to the enhanced security protocol, Google said. A lock icon will appear on the message send button and next to the message timestamp when end-to-end encryption is activated.

RCS encrypts messages during transport, but Google noted end-to-end protection would prevent any interception by third parties.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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