What are your thoughts on Beeper?

*What do you want advice about? I want advice on whether or not I should trust Beeper. I only want to use it for iMessage but am worried about Beeper having access to my iCloud account. https://www.beeper.com/

*What have you considered or looked at already? I’ve currently looked at signal and was able to get the important people I talk to into signal but there’s some that I wouldn’t be able to get on signal.

*In brief, tell us about your privacy threat model? I’m not a public figure or anything like that, just another person on the internet that wants their privacy respected while also maintaining security. I try to setup my accounts and devices as the most secure and usable while not going to the extreme privacy and security while not being usable.

I’ve had a look at their privacy policy, and the ‘data safety’ section on the Play Store and the state that they collect quite a lot of information on the Play Store, but that they don’t share it. However, in their privacy policy, they say they do share it. This lack of transparency makes me nervous about trusting them.

From their privacy policy:

We share information about you:

when we’ve asked & received your consent to share it
as needed to process or provide services or products to you, but only if those entities agree to provide at least the same level of privacy protection we’re committed to under this Privacy Statement
to comply with laws or to respond to lawful requests and legal process, provided that we’ll notify you unless we’re legally prohibited from doing so. We’ll only release personal information if we believe in good faith that it’s legally required.
only if we reasonably believe it’s necessary to prevent harm to the rights, property or safety of you or others; or
in the event of a corporate restructuring or change in our organizational structure or status to a successor or affiliate.

They aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong, but I would rather just use multiple apps than trust a third-party. If you want to use it, assume that they can see your messages.

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I see that line about sharing data with trusted third parties often. Sometimes they will specify that the third parties are needed in order to provide the service and that the third parties have committed to confidentiality. Not sure what to make of that yet, but I imagine that sometimes it’s legitimate while sometimes it uses similar wording as a smokescreen? Still have more digging to do.

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I am confused as why one might need Beeper? It seems to combine all the messages into a one app so it is easier to look at than opening like 3 different apps?
How does it even get access to imessages as apple doesn’t allow 3rd party sms apps or even getting access to messages in signal?

The data safety section on the Google Play Store is misleading. The following is from the official Google guide describing when a developer has to declare something in there:

The following types of data transfers DO NOT need to be disclosed as “sharing”:
Service providers. Transferring user data to a “service provider” that processes it on behalf of the developer.
Legal purposes. […]
User-initiated action or prominent disclosure and user consent. Transferring user data to a third party based on a specific user-initiated action, where the user reasonably expects the data to be shared, or based on a prominent in-app disclosure and consent
Anonymous data. Transferring user data that has been fully anonymized so that it can no longer be associated with an individual user.

Source: Provide information for Google Play's Data safety section - Play Console Help

So basically, they can, without having to disclose it, collect “anonymous” data or send your data to “service providers”. They can apparently also bypass it if the user was asked via a pop up or “expects” the data to be shared.

I know it isn’t great, but I think if companies do a better job at making that section more accurate to what they actually collect/share., it shows they are more transparent about their data collection, which is good.

If they miss out information or make it misleading, it makes me not want to trust them.