Sunbird, an app that enables Android users to access iMessage, has temporarily shut down its service due to questions around whether user messages are actually end-to-end encrypted as claimed.
The messaging app, which launched in 2022 and has operated via a waitlist, marketed itself as a secure and private messaging solution. This included touting end-to-end encryption for messages, no data collection, and an ad-free experience.
However, recent analysis has challenged whether Sunbird’s encryption claims hold up. Findings show messages may not be truly encrypted.
Researchers have reported discovering that messages sent through Sunbird may not actually be end-to-end encrypted as advertised. Additionally, it was found that the app stores thousands of media files on the cloud platform Firebase.
This seems to contradict Sunbird’s stance that it does not store user data on its own servers. While it may not store data internally, sending this information to an external cloud provider still presents privacy issues.
In light of these revelations, Sunbird has been removed from app stores and paused its service while it conducts an investigation. Additionally, you can also read about- WhatsApp Users Can Now Hide Locked Chats With ‘Secret Code’ Feature
The company said in a notice to users that “we have decided to pause Sunbird usage for now” and that it will provide updates when it is ready to resume the service.
This comes shortly after Sunbird announced a partnership with the phone company Nothing and its Nothing Chats app. Nothing Chats utilized Sunbird’s technology to offer iMessage access on Nothing devices, but was pulled after just one day.