Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Social Media

WhatsApp Adds Another Layer of Security to Encrypted Chat Back-Ups


Despite concerns from authorities, and various Governments calling for Facebook not to add more messaging encryption, it’s pushing ahead with its data security push anyway, with its latest update being a new, optional layer of protection for your message back-ups stored outside of WhatsApp, the company’s most-used messaging app.

Last month, WhatsApp added end-to-end encryption for chat back-ups stored on cloud-based services like Google Drive and iCloud. Now, it’s adding another element, with optional access restrictions using password or encryption key.

WhatsApp Back-up lock

As you can see in this image, now, when you encrypt your chat back-ups, you’ll also have the option to use a password or encryption key, further locking your data, and keeping your information private.

As explained by WhatsApp:

No other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voice messages, video calls, and chat backups.”

Neither WhatsApp, nor your backup service provider will be able to read your backups or access the key required to unlock them. Which is a key point for WhatsApp to note, especially given the recent user backlash over its move to update its data-sharing processes, which now sees more data about your interactions with businesses within WhatsApp shared with Facebook.

But that does not, to be clear, apply to your personal message interactions, a key feature of WhatsApp. Your person-to-person interactions in the app still encrypted and fully protected, with this new process adding more capacity to secure your personal data to ensure that no-one, not even law enforcement or other authorities, can see what you’re sharing in the app.

WhstApp chat backup process overview

WhatsApp’s original update to encrypt chat back-ups closed off a key loophole in this respect, with law enforcement agencies previously able to tap unencrypted chat back-ups on Google and Apple servers, in order to access user information and interaction history. That, according to some regulators and officials, serves an important purpose, with Facebook’s gradual move towards more encryption offering more protection for criminals who use their messaging services to conduct illegal activity.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, for example, has argued that any move to further restrict such access by law enforcement will increase the potential for use of these platforms among perpetrator groups.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

As per NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless:

“Private messaging is at the front line of child sexual abuse, but the current debate around end-to-end encryption risks leaving children unprotected where there is most harm.”

Government agencies agree. Back In October 2019, representatives from the US, UK and Australia co-signed an open letter to Facebook which called on the company to abandon its full messaging encryption plans, arguing that it would:

“…put our citizens and societies at risk by severely eroding capacity to detect and respond to illegal content and activity, such as child sexual exploitation and abuse, terrorism, and foreign adversaries’ attempts to undermine democratic values and institutions, preventing the prosecution of offenders and safeguarding of victims.”

The Governments of each region have asked for Facebook to provide, at the least, ‘backdoor access’ for official investigations, which Facebook has repeatedly refused.

Facebook reinforced its push on this front in August, by adding end-to-end encryption for voice and video calls in Messenger, while it also launched a new experiment that would see the expansion its encryption options to Instagram Direct.

Which, given Facebook’s broader plan to integrate all of its messaging services, is inevitable – but that project continues to raise the ire of law enforcement advocates, who view the move as a danger to the public.

But again, Facebook continues to push on, and with the additional motivation of connecting its back-end systems in order to avoid a possible break-up of the company’s components, if it was ever found to have breached anti-trust rules, it seems that Facebook will indeed encrypt all of its messaging services, despite opposition.

Is that a good thing? I mean, the broader push towards data security and control is another element, and Facebook’s updates align with that shift. But it may well, as noted, offer additional protections for criminal networks, who’ll then be able to use more platforms, with more reach, without fear of being detected.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

That seems like a significant downside to increased privacy, but these are the impacts that need to be balanced in the evolving debate around data usage.



Source link

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Advertisement

Latest

Top Stories

The first rule of Bitcoin (BTC) trading should be “expect the unexpected.” In just the past year alone, there have been five instances of...

Loan And Finance

If you’re like most of us, you know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. You do your best to make the most...

Technology

Source: iMore Remember when you first started playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons when it first launched, back before it became one of the most...

Top Stories

Robinhood’s chief legal officer Dan Gallagher described the idea of creating a new digital asset regulator was “just plain silly” at a conference on...

Top Stories

Bitcoin’s (BTC) recent foray back below $56,000 sparked a wide-ranging sell-off across the cryptocurrency ecosystem and talks of the price hitting $100,000 by the end...

Online Business Success

— AFP/File At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index had risen by 378.91 points, or 0.82%, at 46,489.41 points. Investors looked for shares offered at...

Top Stories

Its been a rollercoaster week in the cryptocurrency market after volatility returned to shake up Bitcoin (BTC) price, pushing the digital asset to lows...

Top Stories

As the perceived legitimacy of blockchain technology increases, politicians in the United States have shown a growing interest in turning this non-partisan technology into...

Advertisement

You May Also Like

SEO Guide

How to index website on Google? Do you want to drive more organic traffic to your new website? I am sure your answer is...

Blogging

In this post, I will discuss the top ten profitable blogging niches ideas for Adsense approval and high traffic. whether you use Blogger or...

SEO Guide

There are all kinds of pictures of the world on the internet, but to find one of these specific pictures that you want to...

SEO Guide

Want to rank in Google image search? Images that you use as a featured images when writing a post actually appear on Google Images...

Advertisement