Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Whatsapp Reinforces Protection of User Privacy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A worker checks an iPhone in a repair store in New York, in this file photo taken February 17, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/Files

Jeddah- The infamous “texting and more” social network pioneering app, “Whatsapp”, added a feature providing full protection to users privacy, who amount to over a billion accounts owners worldwide.

The update went viral in a yellow chat bubble displayed over chat screens writing “Messages you send to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Tap more for info.”

All chat content, whether attached photos or sent voice records, is now exclusive to the receiving party’s usage. The update has been endorsed by “Android”, “iOS”, ”Windows Phone” , “ Nokia S40,S60”, “BlackBerry” and “BlackBerry 10”.

The encryption applies to all chats established, including group chats.

The new safety measure is intended to put a spoke in hackers’ wheels. Not only virtual pirates are stopped now, but also governmental authorities have joined the no longer given accesses category.

Exclusiveness now ensures a wide array of users’ comfort when exchanging data, journalists, perhaps are the users to firsthand witness ultimate comfort provided by Whatsapp’s end-to-end encryption, media busy-bees can now protect exclusives exchanged with sources, editing boards, businessmen, designers, writers, musicians and more.

Whatsapp now joins the forever increasing score of apps employing chat encryption, such as “Telegram Messenger” and “Signal Private Messenger”. The wave of apps securing data away from authorities had governments consider the extremes of banning the services, in an argument of national security being threatened.

Should app developing companies refuse sharing the mechanism on deciphering encryption used, data will go completely unmonitored.

But many elements play into encryption, some developing companies are incapable of decrypting digital locks, simply because they don’t have access to them.

Digital encryption is effected by factors subjective to users themselves and not the developing company. That lapse of access received open-end criticism amid digital security rings, which chase digital traces and evidence against criminals to protect communities world-wide.

Some reports go as far as emphasizing that the terrorists who staged the 13 November Paris attacks have used apps like Whatsapp and Telegram Messenger for inner-ring communication.

As to the reason behind the update, some believe that the inflating popularity of Telegram Messenger among app users, which had promoted Whatsapp not holding a candle to its user privacy protection policy, had a hand with leading to the recent Whatsapp encryption- a part of virtual market competition.