Just the two of us: Why you should care about private calls

April 14, 2022 / Wesley SukhPrivacy

Our calls beta will be arriving in just a few more sleeps. Any day now you could be waking up to that sweet, sweet notification: a new update is available for Session. We've been making a lot of noise about the release of calls—and we know lots of you are hotly anticipating the drop—but some of you might be wondering: why is this such a big deal?

Some things can't be said over text

When it comes to connecting with other people, you can only get so far with text alone. For moments that are more intimate, personal, or just plain human: text can never replace the feeling of hearing someone's voice or seeing their face.

If you've got friends and family who live far away — you know this all too well. A call just means so, so much more than a text. We understand that relationships are built face to face and that sometimes a text just doesn’t cut it.

Would you tell someone you love them for the first time over text? What about breaking up with your partner? Tell your best friend you got the job? Or that you had a hard day and need a pick-me-up? Some of life's most important and personal moments happen over calls.

And those personal moments, they're, well...personal. You should have complete confidence that those moments are just being shared between you and your loved ones — and that there aren't big tech companies or secret FBI agents listening in without you knowing.

Calls on Session is so much better than putting a sticker over your camera or using a voice changer. This is privacy that lets you...be you.

Protecting yourself from big data

Session exists to protect your data. The rampant and exploitative data collection practices of large tech companies and governments around the world are super unethical — and the only way to fight back is to build, use, and advocate for tech that protects your privacy.

It's no secret that certain US-based intelligence agencies have a nasty habit of listening to people's phone conversations. Data collection is often creepy, but there is something about the idea of strangers listening in on your phone calls that feels particularly...off. Especially when the contents of those conversations can then be linked to the mounds of data which has already been collected about you through things like your browsing history and social media habits.

Testing Session video calls
Testing Session video calls in the Melbourne office.

But not on Session. Session is anonymous — with no phone numbers, emails, or any other identifying information being needed to create an account. Within the space of a few minutes, you can download the app, sign up, and start having conversations in full privacy. This means that just like our messaging service, this technology was applied to calls.

One step at a time

Session is now one of the easiest, most secure, most private ways to have a phone call — and all without a phone number!

This isn't the last time you'll be hearing from us about calls on Session. This is just a beta, and we are still working hard on the onion-routed version of calls later this year. Once that drops, we will be the first and only private messaging app in the world with fully onion-routed calls — one of the most private ways to have a phone call in existence. But, at least it's a step in the right direction. This step grants you, our beloved users, more functionality in adopting Session as your daily messaging driver.

Other voice and video calling platforms, like Zoom, are going down a really dystopian path. There are reports that Zoom is looking to utilise AI to detect the emotional state of people in calls. 😳 Uh, we'll pass on the data-driven AI technology that monitors and potentially manipulates our moods.

But, with things like Session and our good friends over at Jitsi — there is hope for the future. Now that calls on Session just around the corner — there has never been a better time for you to get your nearest and dearest on-board. So make sure you keep an eye out on our socials to ensure you don't miss the release!

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Chat with like-minded individuals in the Session Community.

Friends don’t let friends use compromised messengers.

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