WhatsApp ups the ante in the privacy war; activates end-to-end encryption
6 April 2016,
New Delhi: Smartphone application WhatsApp just activated end-to-end encryption, which will prevent anyone, even WhatsApp itself, from accessing a private messaging or voice calls.
This privacy update comes soon after the Apple vs. FBI debacle, which will prevent Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company, from handing over users’ chat logs, even when presented with a court order or wiretap warrant. While it cannot be confirmed yet whether WhatsApp is completely immune to warrant requests, members of the United States Congress are trying to oppose such updates, working to introduce legislation that would force companies to comply with orders to access communications.
Encryption for specific chats or communication between specific individuals can be verified by scanning a QR code between the participants. Once encrypted, a chat will show a message that the thread is encrypted.
The blog post by WhatsApp co-founders Jan and Brian said encryption is an most important feature of WhatsAPP for its users.
“WhatsApp has always prioritized making your data and communication as secure as possible. And today, we’re proud to announce that we’ve completed a technological development that makes WhatsApp a leader in protecting your private communication: full end-to-end encryption.” a blog post announcing the change said.
“The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation” the statement said.
“We live in a world where more of our data is digitized than ever before, Every day we see stories about sensitive records being improperly accessed or stolen. And if nothing is done, more of people’s digital information and communication will be vulnerable to attack in the years to come. Fortunately, end-to-end encryption protects us from these vulnerabilities.” they post on blog
“Today more than a billion people are using WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and family all over the world. And now, every single one of those people can talk freely and securely on WhatsApp.” Jan and Brian wrote at the end.