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Data protection: His idea failed. Now it protects our WhatsApp chats

Emails are insecure. Contrary to what the logos of popular email programs suggest, they are less comparable to my letter in an envelope than to a postcard. Anyone who has it can simply read it. Philip Zimmermann has been trying to change that for half his life.

He is the programmer of the email encryption program Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), released the first version in 1991. When the sender and recipient of an email use it, only they can read the message, no one else.

You could say Zimmermann failed. There are estimates that just 50,000 people use his technology regularly today. That’s not much compared to the billions of emails sent every day.

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