WhatsApp rolls out end-to-end encrypted chat backups

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Facebook-owned popular messaging platform WhatsApp has begun rolling out end-to-end encryption for Google Drive and iCloud backups.

According to the reports, the rollout has started months after the US-based company tested the update internally. Last month, WhatsApp announced that it would begin offering end-to-end encrypted cloud backup for Android and iOS users.

The opt-in feature will help users protect their backups from third-party access, including cloud storage providers such as Google and Apple. It also claims to safeguard WhatsApp chat history stored in backups.

Facebook CEO Mr. Mark Zuckerberg revealed the launch of end-to-end encryption for cloud backups through a post on his page. The feature will be gradually rolled out globally for both Android and iOS users to provide an additional layer of protection to cloud backups.

Since 2016, WhatsApp has provided end-to-end encryption by default for all messages sent over the platform. The company claims that “the advanced encryption protects over 100 billion messages a day as they travel between more than two billion users globally.”

The company has stated that the new update has to be enabled manually by going to Settings > Chats > Chat Backups > End-to-End Encrypted Backups, and then follow the prompts on the screen. The user needs to be required to create a password for the backup. Alternatively, they can use a 64-bit encryption key.

“​​If someone chooses to backup their chat history with end-to-end encryption, it will be accessible only to them, and no one will be able to unlock their backup, not even WhatsApp. Neither WhatsApp nor the backup service provider (like Apple) will be able to access their end-to-end encryption key or their end-to-end encrypted backup,” the company said.

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