Apple’s extremely public legal battle with the United States government, and in particular the FBI, may be over for the time being, but that doesn’t mean that the underlying importance of security and privacy has disappeared into the ether. American law enforcement agencies may no longer be pursuing Apple through the legal system for assistance in breaking encryption on iOS-powered devices, but it seems that the issue is still burning deep. Keeping on topic, WhatsApp has today announced that all communication transmitted via its messaging app will be encrypted end-to-end as part of a move to add a deeper layer of security and privacy that will protect users going forward.
WhatsApp has progressed exponentially over the last few years and is now unrecognizable from the relatively simple messaging platform that initially took the word of instant messaging by storm. Facebook’s acquisition of the business has resulted in the features list being expanded from simple messaging with payloads such as text, photos, and video, to also include instantaneous Wi-Fi calling to contacts as well as WhatsApp Web.
The additional layer of security on WhatsApp now means that any communication sent, which includes text, videos, photographs, audio messages, and even phone calls, are now encrypted at every level and can only be accessed and read by the individuals involved in the conversation.
This level of encryption and security is akin to what Apple consistently preaches with its iMessage platform that ships as a native solution within iOS. It essentially means that WhatsApp, or Facebook if you prefer to look at it from that perspective, will be simply unable to assist any law enforcement agencies with extracting conversational data from its servers if subpoenaed to do so.
This latest rollout by the engineering teams behind the WhatsApp platform also applies to all supported platforms. That means users on iOS, Windows Phone, WhatsApp Web, and Android, will all benefit from the additional peace of mind that this level of encryption brings. No longer shall you fear that your latest ridiculous selfie is being intercepted by any malicious individuals.
This is actually an extremely important rollout by the company behind what is thought to be the world’s largest messaging platform with over a billion users. Many insiders believed that because WhatsApp is now a Facebook-owned company, and Facebook has been accused multiple times in the past of being extremely lax with user’s data, that such a feature addition would never actually happen. This proves that Facebook may have taken over WhatsApp in a multi-billion dollar deal, but that the company is still operating on its own merit with an ethos designed to protect the rights and data of those using the platform.
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