WhatsApp cloud backups may soon get password protection making them accessible only to the user

By: |
March 9, 2021 6:20 PM

WhatsApp has not yet given any official statement on such a feature.

However, while WhatsApp chats are end-to-end encrypted, the same is not the case for the chat backups.

WhatsApp chat backup encryption: Instant messaging platform WhatsApp is reportedly working on a feature to make its cloud backups more secure, using password protection to encrypt the chat backups. With this feature, the encrypted chat backups would only be available to the user. The feature had first been reported to be under development last year, and now WABetaInfo, which actively tracks WhatsApp for feature updates, has shared what the feature might look like on Android and iOS devices.

As per the screenshots, the user, if choosing to make the back password protected, would first be asked to key in their phone number, after which they would have to set a password with a minimum of 8 characters. This password would be sought by WhatsApp by a user when they try to restore their chat back up from the cloud. However, this password is not shared with the Facebook-owned messaging company, and so, WhatsApp would not be able to help a user in retrieving forgotten passwords. Therefore, a forgotten password would result in lost WhatsApp chats.

However, while WhatsApp chats are end-to-end encrypted, the same is not the case for the chat backups.

Once the chat backups reach the cloud servers, they become the responsibility of the service providers. However, in the past, such incidents have taken place where these service providers have shared the chat backups with authorities upon the production of valid warrants for the same.

Still, in theory at least, setting of such a password would make the chat backup inaccessible to anyone apart from the user. However, WhatsApp has not yet given any official statement on such a feature.

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