WhatsApp has added a new section to its Frequently Asked Questions page that gives users the assurance that their messages and calls are protected by an end-to-end encryption tool. The security solution specifically refers to the encryption applied to calls and messages sent to a business. Nevertheless, it’s no secret that WhatsApp began implementing the end-to-end encryption on its platform since early 2016 during the height of the backdoor controversy surrounding Apple’s smartphones. That issue broke out after the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reportedly bypassed the encryption on the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone without Apple’s aid.
The new FAQ section states that end-to-end encryption secures the data transmitted from the sender to the recipient throughout the communication process, keeping it private and preventing any other entity including WhatsApp itself from viewing a user’s messages or eavesdropping on calls between two individuals. The addition of the privacy statement to the FAQ page comes amid a massive data scandal that WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, is currently embroiled in after Cambridge Analytica mined the personal information of 87 million Facebook users and exploited the trove of data as part of its work to influence the results of the 2016 U.S. elections. Yesterday, Facebook co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Senate’s Commerce and Judiciary committees to shed light on the data misuse allegations, responding to repeated questions over how the Menlo Park, California-based company makes money and handles the data of its more than two billion users. Mr. Zuckerberg, however, failed to provide unambiguous answers to several queries including the question on the possibility of introducing a paid subscription service that would let people continue to use the social networking site without having any of their data collected or mined.
Keep in mind, however, that although WhatsApp has been working to encrypt messages and calls on both ends of the communication line, several individuals at the receiving end may still view a user’s messages or listen to calls. WhatsApp cautions that a number of businesses that use its enterprise solution may outsource the task of reading and responding to user queries or answering calls via its service to third-party entities. This highlights the need for businesses to adhere to their privacy policies when handling user messages and calls, according to WhatsApp.
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