WhatsApp to offer end-to-end encryption on chat backups

WhatsApp to offer end-to-end encryption on chat backups.   | Photo Credit: AFP

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WhatsApp Inc will soon offer end-to-end encryption on chat backups in Android devices, according to tech website WABetaInfo.

The Facebook-owned company had previously said that all messages sent on the service are encrypted, meaning that neither Facebook nor third parties can view them. However, chat backups on both iOS and Android devices were never encrypted since they were connected to third-party softwares Google Drive and iCloud.

End-to-end encryption is said to be protected by a private code or password that prevents unauthorised access to messages. WhatsApp is testing this feature in Android devices and will be available in a future update, the tech website said in a statement.

Also Read | Govt pro-actively looking for action on WhatsApp privacy rules issue: MeitY

The move comes as the messaging service faces backlash from users and regulatory authorities over a contentious privacy policy update. Most recently, the Facebook-owned company scrapped the May 15 deadline for accepting the terms and said it will let users retain their accounts until further notice.

WhatsApp introduced the end-to-end encryption system in 2014. But governments across the world saw it as a law enforcement issue, especially after the company stated on its FAQs page without details that it will respond to requests from law enforcement agencies “based on applicable law and policy.”

Also Read | WhatsApp installs fall over 40% as users download rival apps

Moreover, rival messaging app Telegram has also taken a dig at WhatsApp’s encryption practice in the past saying that messages can be decrypted during backup and there is “zero transparency” on what is encrypted and what’s not.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 6:30:38 PM |

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