WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption on its chats. However, there’s no such security feature for the backups. The instant messaging application might soon introduce the feature on the Android platform. The Facebook-owned company is testing a new feature on the beta version of the application. The app will also get some new UI updates in the upcoming release.
WhatsApp uses Google Drive to store backups on the Android platform and as of now, the backed-up chats are not end-to-end encrypted. A report by WABetaInfo, a website that tracks changes in the beta version of the application, has shared some screenshots of the new feature. According to the report, the user is prompted to move to the safer way to store backups. The prompt states, “Secure your message history and media on Google Drive from unauthorized access.”
According to the report, this new feature is expected to be optional for the users. Encryption can be enabled or disabled from the settings within the app. Once the user turns on the new option, they will be able to see the chat history marked with ‘end-to-end’ encryption.
To further protect chat back-up, the new beta version also gets password protection. Users can set passwords to their backups and they will be prompted to enter the passwords when they try to restore the chats. In order to enable password protection, the user will have to verify their phone numbers as well.
The current feature has only been spotted on Android application and Google Drive but considering the apps previous roll outs, we can expect even iOS users to get the same or similar safety feature.