Messaging platform WhatsApp has announced three new privacy features that will give more control over conversations to users. The platform said that although it has the default end-to-end encryption, it is only one part of privacy protection.
The three new features will allow users to leave groups silently, let them choose who can and can’t see them online, and block screenshots of view-once messages.
“New privacy features coming to WhatsApp: exit group chats without notifying everyone, control who can see when you're online, and prevent screenshots on view once messages. We'll keep building new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Meta.
Here are the new features:
Leave groups silently: This feature will allow users to exit a group without notifying anyone. Only the admins will be notified when one wants to leave the group. This feature will roll out this month.
Choose who can see when you’re online: This feature will allow users to decide who can and who can’t see them online to keep the online presence private. This feature will enable users to check their WhatsApp privately, while staying connected to their friends and family. This feature will roll out this month.
Screenshot blocking for View Once messages: View Once messages that allows users to share photos or media without a permanent digital record, will now have another layer of protection. This feature is being tested and will be rolled out to users soon.
WhatsApp, in a statement, said that 72 per cent of people value being able to speak in an honest and unfiltered way but more than 42 per cent want to do so in a safe, private space. They are cautious online and give private messages the utmost importance, compared to email, texts or social media. It added that 51 per cent prefer to stay hidden online, while 91 per cent believe that blocking features are important. The platform said that these are the reasons it kept in mind while adding the new layers of protection.
Ami Vora, Head of Product at WhatsApp, said, “At WhatsApp, we’re focused on building product features that empower people to have more control and privacy over their messages. Over the years, we’ve added interlocking layers of protection to help keep their conversations secure, and the new features is one way we continue to deliver on our commitment to keep messages private. No other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voice messages, video calls, and chat backups.”
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