WhatsApp now allows users to encrypt their cloud chat backups

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WhatsApp now allows users to encrypt their cloud chat backups

WhatsApp allows users to have extended encrypted conversations. Users, on the other hand, haven’t had a way to preserve the backups of their cloud-based conversations. (Chat history is kept in iCloud for iPhone users, and Google Drive for Android users.)

WhatsApp, which processes more than 100 billion messages a day, closes that weak link, telling TechCrunch it is offering this new feature to users in every market where the app is operational.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, noted that WhatsApp is the first global messaging service on this scale to offer end-to-end encrypted messages and backups. “Proud of the team that continues to lead the way in securing your private conversations,” he wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

The feature is optional, the company said. (It is not uncommon for companies to withhold privacy features for legal and regulatory reasons. Apple’s new encrypted browsing feature is not available to users in certain authoritarian regimes, such as China, Belarus, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Uganda and the Philippines.)

Story Highlights

  • WhatsApp is releasing a new feature that will allow its two billion users to encrypt their conversation history backups to iCloud or Google Drive, eliminating a significant gap that governments have used to block private interactions between individuals. obtain and evaluate

  • It has been widely reported that law enforcement agencies around the world have gained access to the private communications between suspicious individuals on WhatsApp by exploiting this loophole.

WhatsApp started testing the feature with a small group of users last month. The company devised a system that allows WhatsApp users on Android and iOS to lock their chat backups with encryption keys. WhatsApp says it will provide users with two ways to encrypt their cloud backups.

WhatsApp users will see an option to generate a 64-digit encryption key to protect their chat backups in the cloud. Users can store the encryption key offline or in a password manager of their choice, or they can create a password that backs up their encryption key in a cloud-based “backup key vault” that WhatsApp has developed.

The encryption key stored in the cloud cannot be used without the user’s password, which is not known to WhatsApp. “While end-to-end encrypted messages you send and receive are stored on your device, many people also want a way to back up their chats in case they lose their phone,” it wrote. company in a blog post.