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WhatsApp likely to introduce end-to-end encryption for chat backups, here is what it means

It is no secret that WhatsApp chats are end-to-end encrypted, something that WhatsApp keeps telling users whenever there is an issue on the privacy front.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | May 13, 2021 | Updated 16:48 IST

Highlights

  • WhatsApp could introduce encryption for chat backups.
  • Encryption means that nobody can access your private chats, not even WhatsApp.
  • WhatsApp is testing a feature that would encrypt the chat backup of users.

It is no secret that WhatsApp chats are end-to-end encrypted, something that WhatsApp keeps telling users whenever there is an issue on the privacy front. But now WhatsApp could introduce encryption for chat backups. Encryption means that nobody can access your private chats, not even WhatsApp. In this case, it means that if you enable this option nobody can access your chat backups either not even WhatsApp and third-party apps involved. For the unversed, WhatsApp lets backup their chats to Google Drive, which is a separate entity.

As per Wabetainfo, WhatsApp is testing a feature that would encrypt the chat backup of users. "In the WhatsApp beta for Android 2.21.10.2 beta article, we talked about a new feature under development: end-to-end encrypted backups. End-To-End Encrypted Backups are very safe because they are protected by a private password that prevents unauthorized access to them while on Google Drive," the report read. The WhatsApp features tracker said that the feature is still not available.

WhatsApp lets users store their chat history on Google Drive. The encryption on chat backup would protect the chat history from unauthorised access on Google Drive. In the screenshots shared by the WhatsApp features tracker, it can be seen that the user will be given a choice to enable encryption. Once you enable the feature, you can protect your back from unauthorized access on Google Drive. You can store up to 25GB on the drive.

On a related note, WhatsApp has scrapped the May 15 deadline for the users to accept the new privacy policy. The company now says that it would not remove the account of users who do not accept the privacy policy. However, the users will have access to limited features if they do not accept the privacy policy despite repeated requests. Some basic features including access to chat list, incoming calls, sending and receiving messages will be taken away. But this would only be done weeks after sending reminders. Users do have the choice to either accept the policy or lose features. The account would exist, but it would not be useful for the users.

WhatsApp has been in the eye of the storm ever since it has announced the new privacy policy. The surrounding ambiguity around the policy had forced the company to postpone the deadline twice.

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