WhatsApp has recently taken a step further in securing and protecting user data with its “end-to-end” encryption technology. Yes, the instant messaging service from Facebook has just launched end-to-end encryption for chat backups and it is a plus one for WhatsApp users.
End-to-End encryption has been there since 2016 but it was only for chats stored on WhatsApp; with this new update, users can benefit from End-to-End encryption, even on chat backups which are potentially stored wither in Google Drive or Apple iCloud.
Earlier, WhatsApp chats stored as a backup on Google Drive or iCloud did not cover end-to-end encryption security but it now will, thanks to the company and growing privacy concerns in the consumers.
According to sources, WhatsApp has been testing this feature for quite some time but only made it official by announcing it today. Reports suggest that users can expect an update in the coming weeks to encrypt their chat backups that are automatically being stored in Google Drive or iCloud.
WhatsApp notes that neither they nor the backup service provider, i.e., iCloud or Google Drive will be able to have access to WhatsApp chat backups. These backups are said to be encrypted with a unique 64-digit key, and users can also opt for setting a password, which can then be used to access the 64-digit encryption key.
However, it may seem to be the best decision taken by the instant messaging service but there is one thing to be kept in mind before opting for this option, and that is the encryption key. It is always good to have a layer of security for your private WhatsApp chats and opting for this feature will give you a 64-digit encryption key. If by chance you ever lose that encryption key, get it straight in your head that you can never have access to your chat backups ever again. It is game over! Anyhow, if you chose to opt for password security, you can always set a new password by confirming a few of your details.
WhatsApp has been in trouble for giving a person’s chat records to the government which they later released in the media for coverage. WhatsApp was immediately criticized and asked, how the person’s chats were accessed by a third party despite end-to-end encryption. The only answer that WhatsApp representatives could give was, that their chats are encrypted only within the WhatsApp application and the moment these chats are backup up and stored on cloud platforms, they are no longer covered under WhatsApp’s purview of End-to-End encryption.
Well, this will no longer be the case for any future instance! Privacy is much more than WhatsApp chats and users need to understand the technology they are using.