November 30, 2023

WhatsApp will give its users the option to encrypt their chat backups to the cloud, taking a significant step to put a lid on one of the tricky ways private communication between individuals on the app can be compromised.

The Facebook-owned service has end-to-end encrypted chats between users for more than a decade. But users have had no option but to store their chat backup to their cloud iCloud on iPhones and Google Drive on Android in an unencrypted format. Enabling the law enforcement agencies to tap users

Encryption keys as you wish

WhatsApp users on Android and iOS will be enabled to lock their chat backups with encryption keys offering users two ways to encrypt their cloud backups, and the feature is optional.

In near future users on WhatsApp will see an option to generate a 64-digit encryption key to lock their chat backups in the cloud. Users can store the encryption key offline or in a password manager or they can create a password that backs up their encryption key in a cloud-based “backup key vault” that WhatsApp has developed. The cloud-stored encryption key can’t be used without the user’s password, which isn’t known by WhatsApp.

Setting passwords will not be known to WhatsApp and setting 64-bit Encryption keys will be affirmed by Whatsapp till the users complete setting up the keys

Regulatory option will be hit

The move to introduce this added layer of privacy is significant and one that could have far-reaching implications.

WhatsApp also confirmed that it will be rolling out this optional feature in every market where its app is operational. It’s not uncommon for companies to withhold privacy features for legal and regulatory reasons.

Making backups fully encrypted is really hard and it’s particularly hard to make it reliable and simple enough for people to use. No other messaging service at this scale has done this and provided this level of security for people’s messages.

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