In a major privacy update, WhatsApp chat backups will now be end-to-end encrypted. This comes as a major relief to users who use backups to preserve their chats and restore them while switching devices.
“If someone chooses to backup their chat history with end-to-end encryption, it will be accessible only to them, and no one will be able to unlock their backup, not even WhatsApp,” explains the company.
However, the backup service provider, such as Apple or Google, will also have access to the end-to-end encryption key apart from WhatsApp.
"We are announcing this now to provide the broader technical community with our approach before it's available to our beta testers and eventually everyday users," the company said in a statement.
Here is all you need to know about the new WhatsApp chat backup encryption feature:
What is End-to-End Encryption?
It basically means that your WhatsApp chat, calls and soon your backup, will be encrypted when it is moving from one device to another. WhatsApp used an end-to-end encryption called Signal Protocol, which prevents any third parties and WhatsApp from having plaintext access to messages or calls.
“WhatsApp protects your messages with end-to-end encryption so that only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between can access it, not even WhatsApp,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told The Quint.
When Will the WhatsApp Chat Backup Feature Be Available?
According to a company statement, the feature will be released in the coming weeks as an options feature on both iOS and Android. However, it will not be turned on by default.
Users will be required to create a password or a 64-digit encryption key to access their chats. However, if you forget the encryption key, the platform will be unable to recover them.