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WhatsApp rolls out face, fingerprint unlock feature for web

The messaging app will now let users unlock using their face ID or fingerprint while linking devices.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | January 28, 2021 | Updated 14:06 IST

Highlights

  • WhatsApp has rolled out a new security feature for web users.
  • WhatsApp will let users et users unlock using their face ID or fingerprint while linking devices.
  • WhatsApp has said that this will prohibit illegal logins to your WhatsApp account on the web.

WhatsApp has rolled out a new security feature for web users. The messaging app will now let users unlock using their face ID or fingerprint while linking devices. So before you link your WhatsApp account to your desktop, you will be asked to log in using your face id or fingerprint before you scan a QR code.

Announcing the feature, WhatsApp said, "Today we're putting even more security into WhatsApp Web and desktop, adding an additional layer of protection when you want to link your WhatsApp account to your computer. To do this, we're taking advantage of face or fingerprint unlock where it is available on the mobile phone operating system. In order to link WhatsApp Web or Desktop to your WhatsApp account, you will now be asked to use your face or fingerprint unlock on your phone, before scanning a QR code from the phone to link your device."

WhatsApp has said that this will prohibit illegal logins to your WhatsApp account on the web. For instance, once the new feature is rolled out, your friend or colleague will not be able to link devices to your WhatsApp account without you. Whenever someone tries to log in without permission on the web version of the messaging app, a notice will pop up in your phone and you can unlink devices from your phone at any time without being physically present in front of your desktop

However, WhatsApp said that it cannot access the biometric information stored in the user's device. "The face and fingerprint authentication take place on your device in a privacy-preserving manner - by design, WhatsApp cannot access the biometric information stored by your device's operating system."

The Facebook-owned messaging app said in a statement that the new security update for linking devices will be rolling out, alongside a visual redesign to the WhatsApp Web page on phones, to users with compatible devices over the coming weeks.

Here is what you can do to link your account to WhatsApp Web

Open your WhatsApp, go to settings

Tap on WhatsApp Web/ Desktop

Tap on Link a Device. You can use your Face ID or Touch ID to unlock.

Open the WhatsApp web on your desktop

Select the checkbox next to Keep me signed in on the QR screen on your computer

Using your phone scan the QR code that appears on the screen

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