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In the aftermath of this controversy, WhatsApp announced on Thursday a new security patch that will incorporate another layer of security to the WhatsApp Web and desktop app connecting and logging in. This functionality will be enabled from next week and users will be instructed to authenticate using fingerprint or face ID before connecting their WhatsApp accounts to their desktop.
WhatsApp further said that this extra layer of security is intended to discourage anyone from linking your WhatsApp account to your device without your presence. Interestingly, this measure is taken at a time when WhatsApp is facing criticism on privacy issues. The messaging app said that face and fingerprint verification is performed on the user’s cell phone in a privacy-preserving way, and WhatsApp cannot exploit the biometric data saved on the handset’s operating system. In addition.
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WhatsApp also announced the introduction of an additional layer of security to the mobile app to restrict the illicit use of WhatsApp on the desktop. Well, to connect the WhatsApp web or desktop app to a WhatsApp account, users will now be instructed to use a face or fingerprint unlock on the phone. Once the user is done setting fingerprint or face unlock on the cell can activate the QR code scanner from the handset, which will then complete the process of linking to the computer.
WhatsApp also issued an official release stating, “This will limit the chance that a housemate or officemate (when we have those again) can link devices to your WhatsApp account without you. This builds on our existing security measures today, which pop up a notice in your phone whenever a Web/Desktop login occurs, and the ability to unlink devices from your phone at any time,”
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WhatsApp has confirmed that it cannot retain biometrics, since it cannot obtain the key details from the phone’s operating system simply by design. The newest security layer will be out in the following weeks. Graphical revamp of WhatsApp’s phone web pages will also be launched in the coming weeks.
Nevertheless, last month WhatsApp witnessed an outcry from users to enforce revised privacy policies on them, and, in protest, a major section of users switched to other messaging apps such as Telegram and Signal. Let’s see if WhatsApp’s security concern would be effective and whether will it be successful in retaining the ex-WhatsApp users.