Use of Information

A few blogs have written about how hike is sending data un-encrypted over 3G and Wi-Fi networks. We are aware and we’ve clearly outlined in this post how 128-bit SSL security is coming to hike by year end.

The point I’d like to address in this blog post is how hike uses personal information. There have been some concerns of why hike transmits data such as UDID. I’d like to address that with this blog post.

We state the following in our Privacy Policy:

We neither share nor sell Your Personally Identifiable Information such as Your mobile phone number and address book and any other information we may collect with any third parties for use for commercial, advertising and or similar marketing purposes without Your consent.

When we set out to build hike, we wanted to build a better messaging experience for ourselves, one free of ads and one where users privacy is respected. We hate ads, it destroys the user experience. Why spend so much time building such a beautiful experience and then ruin it with ads?

We also state:

We may share non-personally-identifiable information (such as anonymous user usage data, referring / exit pages and URLs, platform types, asset views, number of clicks, etc.) with third-parties to better understand usage patterns for certain content, services, advertisements, promotions, and/or functionality related to hike application.

We do transmit such data. Its a fact. We send it to a cluster sitting in Amazon Web Services to do exactly what we’ve mentioned above. To better understand user behaviour so we can build the best messaging app out there. We are very transparent in what we do and if we’re transmitting information back to our servers, we do so for valid reasons as explained openly in this blog post and our T&C. We take users privacy very seriously.

Click here to find out what we’re building next as a result.

You can read our full Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy at hike.in/terms.

 

Security

We’ve been seeing a lot of blog posts particularly in Germany about hike and 128-bit SSL encryption. We believe this stemmed from a response we gave on a support ticket asking about SSL encryption. As follows is a conversation between the hike team and a user:

As we’ve mentioned in the ticket ‘We would be using 128-bit SSL encryption’ to our messages. 128-bit SSL encryption is coming to hike by year end.

As a matter of fact, its one of the top features we are working on at the moment.

We’ve also just received our Exporter Registration Number (ERN). An ERN is a number that is given by the US government to allow a company to use encryption to deliver its service. Why is a US approval needed? Because the platforms that our apps are available on are owned and controlled by US entities (Apple etc). To know more about the ERN process, click here.

At this point in time, hike does not encrypt its messages with 128-bit encryption. Like any other application that uses data over mobile networks, hike relies on encryption provided by networks operators.

We take security very seriously and we guarantee you that we’re putting a lot of effort to ensure that hike keeps evolving on all parameters, especially security.

We assure you that 128-bit SSL encryption is coming to hike by end of this calendar year.