WhatsApp to require Face ID and Touch ID when syncing to Mac app

Posted:
in General Discussion
WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop are getting a significant security boost as developers roll out support for biometric authentication when syncing messages.




Starting on Thursday, WhatsApp announced that they would begin rolling out a new security feature that allows users to require biometric verification -- such as Face ID or Touch ID -- before syncing messages between the desktop or web versions of WhatsApp.

Today we're starting to roll out a new security feature for WhatsApp Web and Desktop: face and fingerprint unlock when linking devices.

WhatsApp does not see your face or fingerprint data.

Chats for your onlyhttps://t.co/qR3zsexzfj pic.twitter.com/Ei5G35MPpA

-- WhatsApp (@WhatsApp)


When syncing WhatsApp mobile with WhatsApp Desktop or WhatsApp Web, users will be asked to use biometrics before scanning the QR code required to sync between devices.

This security measure is especially handy, preventing anyone with access to your phone from easily syncing your account to their computer or browser.

WhatsApp makes a particular point of noting that the app has no access to your biometric information, such as face or fingerprint data.

Users will need to follow WhatsApp's guide to log out of their browser and desktop-based versions of WhatsApp, which will allow them to resync with the additional layer of security.

Mark Zuckerberg told analysts on a recent Facebook earning call that Apple was using its position and platform to dominate other services. He later stated that WhatsApp is more secure than Apple's Messages and that he sees Apple as one of Facebook Inc's biggest competitors.

In December, a WhatsApp spokesperson claimed that Apple's new privacy nutrition labels were anticompetitive, despite the fact that Apple includes privacy labels for its own apps as well.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,656member
    The headline says "and" but the article says "or". Big difference.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Wha???

    People still use the personal information-sucking anti-privacy app known as WhatsApp?!?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Tidbits had an article about Signal Being a good replacement https://signal.org/

    I think I’ll give it a try to replace WhatsApp and Messenger for my cross platform usage. My family tends to use messenger because you can sent photos without a carrier photo text fee. In NZ the Carrier’s  exclude photo texts from your free text allocation  while giving us free data in our plan. 
    edited January 28 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Tidbits had an article about Signal Being a good replacement https://signal.org/

    I think I’ll give it a try to replace WhatsApp and Messenger for my cross platform usage. My family tends to use messenger because you can sent photos without a carrier photo text fee. In NZ the Carrier’s  exclude photo texts from your free text allocation  while giving us free data in our plan. 
    been using Signal for 6 years or maybe even longer. Love it!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,958member
    andyring said:
    Wha???

    People still use the personal information-sucking anti-privacy app known as WhatsApp?!?
    Yes. I use WhatsApp every day. End to end encryption. What I care about is the content of my messages. Are you suggesting they can be seen by people who aren't the intended receivers of the contents? 

    I use Telegram, Viber and Line too. 
  • Reply 6 of 11
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 311member
    avon b7 said:
    andyring said:
    Wha???

    People still use the personal information-sucking anti-privacy app known as WhatsApp?!?
    Yes. I use WhatsApp every day. End to end encryption. What I care about is the content of my messages. Are you suggesting they can be seen by people who aren't the intended receivers of the contents? 

    I use Telegram, Viber and Line too. 
    Based on their privacy nutrition label, yes, they can see message content.  Even if they choose not to look at message content, they definitely do look at who you talked to, when and where you did so, all your contacts, and any purchases you make through the app. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Moved to Signal. It has an iPad version and the owners don’t suck. 
    bonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Given the rash of shenanigans from FB, suspicion was my first reaction to the headline, not security enhancement. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    rwesrwes Posts: 191member
    bonobob said:
    avon b7 said:
    andyring said:
    Wha???

    People still use the personal information-sucking anti-privacy app known as WhatsApp?!?
    Yes. I use WhatsApp every day. End to end encryption. What I care about is the content of my messages. Are you suggesting they can be seen by people who aren't the intended receivers of the contents? 

    I use Telegram, Viber and Line too. 
    Based on their privacy nutrition label, yes, they can see message content.  Even if they choose not to look at message content, they definitely do look at who you talked to, when and where you did so, all your contacts, and any purchases you make through the app. 
    Indications are (at least when end-to-end encrypted), they cannot see message content; it's important people understand that. But they can/do see the metadata (who, when, where, etc) and there is the potential (already happening?) for FB to link that to all the other data they collect about a particular user.

    That said, I try not to use WhatsApp or Messenger at all (and mostly succeed), but family outside the US is still heavy WhatsApp and I've got one (local, US) group chat that is heavy Messenger (which I need to move); only one user in that group who does not have an iPhone though his wife loves hers. Think we'll be able to bring him over to the dark side (or Apple will) at some-pint in the future. :smiley: 

    Add on the Signal iPad app, outside of iMessages, Singal is my preferred Messenger as well - donated some small $ towards the cause and I hope more people do to help keep them doing what they're doing. I use my iPad almost exclusively at night and still super annoyed that WhatsApp does not have an iPad app.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    This must mean they've figured out some way to leverage these facilities to find out even more about you so they can sell that data as well.

    I'm kidding.

    Maybe.

    A little.

    I hope.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,958member
    bonobob said:
    avon b7 said:
    andyring said:
    Wha???

    People still use the personal information-sucking anti-privacy app known as WhatsApp?!?
    Yes. I use WhatsApp every day. End to end encryption. What I care about is the content of my messages. Are you suggesting they can be seen by people who aren't the intended receivers of the contents? 

    I use Telegram, Viber and Line too. 
    Based on their privacy nutrition label, yes, they can see message content.  Even if they choose not to look at message content, they definitely do look at who you talked to, when and where you did so, all your contacts, and any purchases you make through the app. 
    I think there's a fair amount of confusion on many levels in recent weeks. 

    With end-to-end encryption message content should be invisible to Facebook. Also EU users are apparently not affected as much as non-EU users because of strict data protection laws. On top of that, and again, supposedly, the recent furore over the ToS proposals would be for WhatsApp business use.

    It seems that, for EU users at least, there will be no change in how things are actually done and message content will remain 100% private.

    Not that I trust Facebook at all. They are definitely the problem and are not trustworthy because they have been caught and fined so often but at least for now, and in my case, WhatsApp is still a useful service. 
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