What is WhatsApp’s End-to-End Encryption?
What does WhatsApp mean by chats that are end-to-end encrypted? and how does this impact WhatsApp Users?
Recently, WhatsApp has been talking a lot about privacy. In fact, the messaging platform recently introduced a range of privacy features like hiding online status, leaving group chat without notifying anyone and a lot more. These features will reach every user very soon. The company has already confirmed another privacy feature that WhatsApp has been highlighting since the last several years is "end-to-end encryption". If you use WhatsApp on a regular basis to connect with your friends and family, you must definitely have come across the term "end-to-end encryption".
Now, the question is, what does WhatsApp mean by chats that are end-to-end encrypted? and how does this impact WhatsApp Users? Let's understand this in simple points:
- The meta-owned messaging platform, WhatsApp, says that all chats exchanged on the platform are protected or "encrypted". In simple words, as per WhatsApp, chats sent or received on the platform are only visible to the sender or receiver of the message and no one else. Not even WhatsApp or its parent company Meta.
- As per WhatsApp, under the end-to-end encryption policy, all messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, status updates and calls exchanged on the platform are secured and can't be accessed by anyone else. End-to-end encryption ensures chats are secured between the sender and receiver of the message and no one, including WhatsApp, can access the conversation at any given point.
- The good thing is, WhatsApp has auto-enabled the end-to-end encryption option for all accounts and no one will need to turn on any special settings to secure their messages. There's also no way to disable the option.
–Recently, there have been a lot of controversies around WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption feature and the Indian Government's current IT rules that state, if required, social media platforms such as WhatsApp must have provisions for “identification of the first originator of the information”. Now, this goes against WhatsApp’s policies of end-to-end encrypting all messages happening on the platform.
When the IT rules were introduced, Meta also challenged the government, stating that the guidelines go against the platform’s key policies. WhatsApp hasn't yet highlighted how it plans to manage situations when the government asks for details of users and access to personal chats in some instances. So, if you use WhatsApp to connect with your family and friends, your chats are encrypted and no one can access them, at least this is what the application says.If you fear that someone can login to your mobile phone and read your chats, WhatsApp has a solution for that as well. It allows users to password protect the app and all the chats and media files shared on the platform. Did you know about the end-to-end encryption policy of WhatsApp? Do mention your thoughts in the comment section below.