WhatsApp alert: Profile pictures can no longer be saved to phone

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New Delhi | May 17, 2019 10:56 AM

WhatsApp profile pictures are set to get more security with the new rule

WhatsApp is inching towards giving its users full control of their accounts – a promise that parent company Facebook reiterated along with the big tech at the Paris summit. As a part of its latest beta update, WhatsApp will discontinue the saving option to stop the potential misuse of profile photos. The first step to rolling out granular controls on user profile was seen on Facebook when it introduced certain masks that blocked downloading and saving profile image.

The WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.19.139 and higher have killed the profile sharing button that was located on the top right corner of the photo. The new builds do not show the profile sharing button, among other sharing options such as Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps. However, this feature does not block users from screenshotting the profile photo as of now.

Read | WhatsApp hack by Israeli firm under scanner, NSO owner says to prevent abuse of spyware

The new policy, as WABetaInfo notes, is being piloted under the beta programme and it may evolve over several other beta builds before it makes it to the stable version.

Not only on Android, but the WhatsApp beta version on iOS is also phasing out the profile saving option. According to the watchdog, the WhatsApp Business beta for iOS version does not have the option that easily allows users to save profile photos of other users. The screenshots can still be taken but this privilege may be taken away in the stable build.

The original tweet by a user, who goes by Swarup Mondal, claims that the group icons are still downloadable/ saveable. This could be because the group icons are fetched from the Internet as a result of a certain term, in addition to the preferentially set ones. There may or may not be privacy concerns related to the group icons.

In any case, we will have to wait for the stable build to roll out with the new changes to how profile photos can be viewed and managed on WhatsApp.

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