You Asked The Tough Privacy Questions – We Answered

Privacy and security in messaging apps remain hot topics. People, naturally, continue to take an interest in how their data and chats are protected. At Viber, we believe that protecting people’s privacy is a top priority, and we think it’s just as important to be transparent about how we do it exactly.

Part of being transparent about our privacy policies is letting people ask us tough questions and answering them publicly. As leaders in this field, we encourage all companies to answer tough questions, even those that are never fun to talk about. This builds trust – which is at the foundation of the relationship between people and their messaging apps.

On Wednesday, May 12th, Viber’s VP Platform, Amir, sat down with our social media team and responded to questions asked by people from all over the world regarding our policies and how we approach privacy and security.

With over 500k views and hundreds of likes and shares, it definitely caught some people’s attention.

Here are some of our favorite questions from the AMA with Amir, and his responses:

Question 1: “How can bots have access to my data?”

Amir’s response:

Bots access what you willingly provide them through messaging or your keyboard, your photo and username (unless you chose to set personalization toggle off), and technical info about your device and network. They don’t get your phone number/user ID/ advertising ID.

Question 2: “Where are Viber’s servers located?”

Amir’s response:

We store and process your personal information on our computers in the US and Europe and use service providers outside the European Economic Area (EEA), such as Asia, Australia, and Brazil. We do not have any servers located in China.

Question 3: “Can hackers extract my name, email, or phone number from Viber? How can I additionally protect my data?”

Amir’s response:

Other people can only see your “public profile” – your name and photo – through Viber.
Please go through your privacy settings from time to time, as we have various options there.

Question 4: “Why should someone/groups/organizations use Viber instead of Signal, Threema, or other secure alternatives? Is it GDPR compliant and how does the service compare to alternatives, including WhatsApp, and what data does the app collect from users’ devices.”

Amir’s Response:

Viber is a richer communications app without compromising on privacy. It is a European-based company, therefore, is GDPR compliant. Some substantial benefits for organizations are the desktop app which is not dependent on a mobile device and is end-to-end encrypted.

The data collected is described in our privacy policy and dependent on the types of features used. As a baseline, we limit our collection to such data points required for specific purposes. We do not use your private communications to target you with ads.

Finally, a user asked about Viber’s policy regarding Apple’s iOS 14 privacy changes.

Amir’s response:

In the context of Apple’s IDFA changes, we use IDFAs to provide personal ads without getting any further info from outside apps. We don’t track users outside the app.

IDFAs are also used when we advertise our house ads on third-party apps to track which ads work without collecting additional data on users.

At Viber, we aim to provide the best possible services to the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who rely on Viber to connect them to their loved ones. Part of this is also ensuring their data and chats are safe and remain private.

Got any more questions? Follow us on Twitter to find out when our next AMA session will be right here.