WhatsApp is planning to increase its privacy features just two weeks after a Facebook executive was arrested and released over a security dispute concerning the app in Brazil. It’ll be joined by the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, all of which are planning to beef up their encryption services in light of the ongoing battle between Apple and the US government.
Sources have told the Guardian that WhatsApp is looking to implement end-to-end encryption for voice calls and group chats. The messaging platform already protects one-on-one chats from prying eyes for both Android and iOS. This feature was at the heart of its row with Brazil. The local police had asked it to hand over texts in a drug case they were investigating.
WhatsApp had repeatedly stated that it couldn’t comply with the request since it doesn’t store any data. It looks like the experience has lead to the company becoming even more focused on privacy, something which governments around the world will probably not respond well to since tapping in on conversations will become much harder.
To recall, this isn’t the first time reports about encrypted voice calls in WhatsApp have surfaced. A leak back in January this year had revealed screenshots of a WhatsApp security page which stated that both calls and chats would be shielded from third parties. If authentic, the leak indicates that the firm has been working on increasing the level of its security for a while now.
WhatsApp founder Jan Koum is a known advocate for privacy, having thrown his support behind Apple and stating that it should be considered a given and not a bonus. The company is expected to announce its enhanced security features within a few weeks.