As spotted by the intrepid WABetaInfo folks, the Facebook-owned company is working on encryptions for cloud backups on both platforms. While chats between users are currently end-to-end encrypted, the cloud backups are not, but that’s about to change for iCloud and Google Drive users.
This will ensure users cannot restore those encrypted backups to their phone without entering a password, protecting the old chats against third-party incursion.
“To prevent unauthorised access to your iCloud Drive backup, you can set a password that will be used to encrypt future backups. This password will be required when you restore from the backup,” a screenshot captured says.
Users are then required to confirm their phone number before selecting a password that’s at least eight characters long. It’s not clear when the company will be rolling out the service to all users, but it’s coming in a future iOS and Android build.
As previously announced, @WhatsApp is working on cloud backups encryption.— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) March 8, 2021
The chat database and media will be safe from unauthorized access when using a password. The password is private and it's not sent to WhatsApp.
It will be available in a future build for iOS and Android. pic.twitter.com/Lp06PaECBX
Late last week, the company announced that it was adding voice and video calls for its Windows and Macs apps, once again pointing to the end-to-end encryption. However, they’re only available for one-on-one calls right now.
WhatsApp has been making a push towards improving privacy features lately, in light of the controversial update to its privacy features, which have left many concerned about over zealous data sharing with Facebook.
The company has gone to great lengths to reassure the public over the policy changes and says that no additional data will be shared with Facebook than already is. Those who do not agree to the policy will lose access to their accounts if they don’t agree to the changes by May 15 this year.