Reviewed October 5th, 2020
privacy guide
FreePN Top Choice 🏆
New Vector Ltd. 🔗
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New Vector Ltd.


Element is a messaging app that makes use of multiple independent servers that are able to talk to each other. Element users can also control their own server and still make use of the larger communications network. The app can be downloaded for free from the App Store, and only requires an email address to sign up.

Breach History

Has there ever been a breach or data leak?


No known hacks or data breaches!


Privacy Checklist

Does it meet our minimum privacy standards?

Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?


Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?


Does it use cookies, telemetry, or third-party tracking scripts?


Is the privacy policy user-friendly (easy to understand)?


Does it have parental controls?


Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?


Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?


Does it require you to create a strong password?


Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?


Does it have a privacy policy?


How Can It Snoop?

What sensitive hardware access requirements does it have?

Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?


Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?


Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?


Account Requirements

What information is required to create an account or use it?

Does it require an email address to use?


Does it require a phone number to use?


Does it require an address (home or office) to use?


Payment Options

What payment methods are available?

Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?


Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?


Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?


Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?


What Could Go Wrong?

What's the worst case scenario for your data?

Not much risk in using this app. Element uses independent servers which means that the company does not store all data in one location, and all stored data is end-to-end encrypted.

How Does It Share Your Data?

Where is your data going? Who has access to it?

Element may share your data with a third party if and only if it is required by law, protects the integrity of the service, or may prevent immediate harm to a user. Otherwise, messages are hosted in local servers, which makes it very secure.

Good Things

Why should you use it?

  • Open source.
  • Allows for greater control over data when running your own server.
  • Generally targeted less by governments.

Bad Things

What are the downsides?

  • Federated servers require trusting your server's administrator.
  • Some metadata may be available, but not actual message content.
  • Server administrators can block other servers.

Final Thoughts

It does not appear as though Element has suffered from a major data breach. Element is extremely secure as it makes use of federated servers and end-to-end encryption, and does not require an email or phone number to sign up. If you want the highest level of privacy for your messages, Element is a good choice.

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