As expected, WhatsApp has gone ahead and enabled full end-to-end encryption for all communications taking place within the app. We’ve been seeing hints and indications of this happening for quite some time now, with the feature coming in at a time when privacy concerns are at an all-time high.
WhatsApp’s encryption is now available to all 1 billion of its users across iOS, Android, Windows, Nokia S40, Nokia S60 and BlackBerry. The feature will keep chats, group messages, photos, voice notes, videos and voice calls shielded from prying eyes. In a blog post, the brand claims the measure will ensure no one can spy on its users, not even itself.
End-to-end encryption basically makes sure a message can only be decoded by the recipient. Governments, cybercriminals and hackers won’t be able to peep into any conversations a users has. The move comes after WhatsApp was embroiled in a major controversy in Brazil where a Facebook executive was arrested for not giving up messages to the police.
The feature has been developed in association with Open Whisper Systems. The company has been integrating its Signal Protocol tool into WhatsApp over the past year. Consumers who have updated to the latest version of the app will now be greeted with a message in their chat window which explains that all messages and calls are now fully encrypted.
Interestingly, WhatsApp has also come up with a way for users to check the authenticity of the security. All they have to do is head over to their contact settings screen and tap on Encryption. This action will open up a QR code. People can either scan their friend’s code, have them scan their phone or compare the string of numbers below the code.