Nothing Chats mobile app removed from Google Play Store because of huge privacy issues

Mobile app - Privacy issues

The developer has withdrawn its iMessage bridge application following discovery of widespread data concerns.

The Nothing Chats iMessage compatible mobile app has been taken off the Google Play Store by Nothing and Sunbird because of widespread privacy concerns.

The companies took the application down voluntarily, but only after the data usage behaviors were discovered.

The mobile app was taken down after it was found out that Sunbird was logging and retaining user vCards, messages, and more. That said, that same user data was also downloadable by other parties. This led to serious privacy and security concerns among users, experts and others.

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The application was taken down only a few days after its launch on the Google Play Store. It only became available for the first time on November 14, 2023. Within a matter of days, concerns were already surfacing due to an apparent lack of encryption and the fact that plaintext HTTP was used to send login credentials over the internet.

Last weekend, things declined substantially for the mobile app when security issues broadened.

It was at that time when more discoveries were made regarding the worrying lack of security for the Nothing and Sunbird application. It didn’t take long for Nothing to take the application down, followed by a post on X (formerly known as Twitter), in which it stated that it was “delaying the launch until further notice to work with Sunbird to fix several bugs.”

Still, this didn’t happen until many of the problems with the application were made widely public, helping users to make informed decisions regarding whether they would want to risk using it. Android app developer Dylan Roussel shared a number of his discoveries regarding the mobile app that showed just how little security was involved in its use.

Roussel posted in a thread that Sunbird had “access to every message sent and received through the app on your device,” including vCards, pictures, videos and all other documents sent through the application and that would then become publicly viewable. He also pointed out that there wasn’t any form of end-to-end encryption used in Nothing Chats.

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