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Messaging app interoperability is absurd and unrealistic

Messaging app interoperability

A network of digital advocates scored today the proposed bill seeking interoperability among instant messaging apps.

Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that the proposal to mandate interoperability among messaging apps is absurd and unrealistic.

“Instant messaging applications have their own codes, their own functionality and features, security and privacy levels and user interface. It is in these differences that users choose a specific instant messaging platform. Forcing developers to make their apps accessible to a different platform is ridiculous and impossible.”

This was after Bataan Representative Albert Garcia filed House Bill 6344 or the Instant Messaging Applications Interoperability Act, which requires interoperability among instant messaging apps.

Gustilo said that the measure poses data privacy risks and may endanger personal information of implemented.

“Allowing access to other apps may endanger personal information entrusted to the messaging app preferred by the subscriber. The security levels of each app are different from the others, which makes it impractical and unsafe.”

Gustilo added that the legislation will worsen the current state of data privacy being employed by instant messaging apps.

“If this bill passes, it will mandate all messaging apps to be accessible to each other. Will apps with weaker security features use the strongest security features available for messaging apps? Or will the apps with strong security features downgrade their security level since the app is accessible to other apps with weaker security?”

Gustilo said that the proponent of the bill does not understand the reason as to why users have different preferences for instant messaging applications.

“It seems that the bill does not understand the reason as to why users have different preferences in choosing an instant messaging app. Each app is different from the other. If the government will mandate interoperability, what makes it different from unsecure messaging apps?”

Gustilo added that instead of pushing for messaging app interoperability, the government should push for the setting of a security and privacy standard for all messaging apps.

“Setting a security and privacy standard for all messaging apps will improve data privacy and security for messaging app users. Our current state of data privacy is dismal and improving it should be in the government’s agenda.”

Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner, www.digitalpinoys.org