Home Tech X’s new calling feature hurts your privacy — here’s how to switch it off

X’s new calling feature hurts your privacy — here’s how to switch it off

by Macky Briones

The recent introduction of audio and video calling on the X app, spearheaded by Elon Musk, has sparked both interest and concern among users. This new feature is automatically enabled, leaks IP addresses, and poses challenges in terms of privacy settings.

In a recent announcement, X touted the availability of audio and video calling for all users, prompting curiosity about the functionality and security implications. To delve deeper into the feature, we explored X’s help center page and conducted tests to unravel its inner workings and potential risks.

One notable drawback is the default nature of the calling feature, which can only be utilized within the X app and not through web browsers. Furthermore, the peer-to-peer nature of calls exposes users’ IP addresses to one another, presenting an inherent risk to privacy.

To address this concern, X offers an option for enhanced call privacy in the Message settings, which masks IP addresses by routing calls through X infrastructure. However, the lack of encryption within the feature raises doubts about the confidentiality of conversations.

In light of these privacy issues, we recommend exercising caution when using the calling feature and consider disabling it altogether. For those who choose to proceed, understanding the nuanced settings for call reception is crucial to maintaining control over communication.

Through extensive testing scenarios, we discovered the mechanics of X calling and its integration with Periscope, Twitter’s former livestreaming service. The network analysis reveals the underlying structure of X’s calling feature and the implications for users.

Ultimately, the decision to engage with X calling rests with individual users, who must weigh the convenience of communication against potential privacy risks. By familiarizing themselves with the intricacies of X’s settings and limitations, users can make informed choices regarding their usage of the feature.

In conclusion, the introduction of audio and video calling on X brings a new dimension to the platform’s functionality, but users must tread carefully to safeguard their privacy in an increasingly connected digital landscape.

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