Google Allo, an instant messaging app known for its smart reply and built-in assistant gained huge popularity among smartphone users. Now, the same app has made its way to headline because of its major privacy flaw.
A media report claimed that this app could let your friends view your search history without one's consent. This major glitch was identified by Recode's Tess Townsend while messaging his friend using Allo. This privacy flaw was found to affect group chats within Allo app and it is not just the search result, but Google Assistant have also attempted to share the address of the previous place of work.
Townsaid explained this scenario as, "In the middle of our conversation, my friend directed Assistant to identify itself. Instead of offering a name or a pithy retort, it responded with a link from Harry Potter fan website Pottermore. The link led to an extract from 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,' the fifth book in J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series. The response was not merely a non-sequitur. It was a result related to previous searches my friend said he had done a few days earlier."
If you are the kind of person who keeps clearing the search history often, then you need not panic. Otherwise, it would have been awful to see the Assistant popping up with some sensitive search result. Regarding this issue, Google spokesperson says, "We were notified about the Assistant in group chats not working as intended. We've fixed the issue and appreciate the report."
Google Allo has faced the similar criticism during its app launch as well. There were tweets by Whistleblower Edward Snowden saying that Allo is a Google app that records every message you ever send and makes it available to police upon request.