WhatsApp will stop you from taking screenshots of chats soon: Here’s when and why

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New Delhi | April 17, 2019 6:34 PM

WhatsApp fingerprint lock feature is set to roll out soon but it will also bring one annoying functionality

WhatsApp is working on the fingerprint lock feature for its Android app, which has apparently been added to the latest beta version. However, according to WABetaInfo, the fingerprint lock is not available to use as of now. Apart from its purpose to secure chats with a fingerprint, this feature is expected to bring another functionality – blocking screenshots of conversations.

As noted by WABetaInfo, the Fingerprint Lock setting will block the user from taking screenshots of the chats unless the lock is disabled. While it is not clear why WhatsApp chose to add this functionality, the inability to screenshot conversations with fingerprint lock enabled will offer a layer of security to chats. However, its requirement is questionable.

But if this feature materialises into the stable build of WhatsApp, here’s how it will work:

  • When you enable fingerprint authentication under the Security settings of WhatsApp, the app will show the message that enabling the setting will block screenshots.
  • After turning the feature on, if you press the combination of buttons to screenshot chats, a message will pop up saying “Can’t take screenshot due to security policy” and the screenshot will not be taken.

In February, WhatsApp introduced the support for the biometric solutions available on iPhone – Face ID and Touch ID – to allow users to lock their chats. WhatsApp users can either choose to unlock chats by pressing on the Home button on iPhone 8 Plus and earlier or placing the iPhone X or later before their face. Earlier, the user had to rely on third-party applications, besides the phone’s inbuilt app lock feature.

As fingerprint sensors are moving to be situated under the displays, WhatsApp’s fingerprint authentication will work with them as well. Currently, many apps such as the ones provided by banks have native support for fingerprint security. WhatsApp uses a similar framework to store the fingerprint data locally so that it’s less prone to hacking.

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