Hot off the heels of Apple’s recent legal tangle with the FBI, WhatsApp isn’t waiting around until the government comes knocking at its door. The popular messaging company just flipped on encryption, protecting its current subscriber count of one billion people around the world from any future attempts to parse information from the service.
Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, took a stand at MWC 2016 to back Apple’s position versus the FBI. If you need a refresher, that position in particular was that electing to create a backdoor into iOS for the government’s use would give them unfettered access to anyone’s information, not just criminal evidence.
Now, we can see that Facebook wasn’t just talking the talk on privacy. Your activity on WhatsApp, whether it’s making phone calls, sending text messages, photos or videos, is now protected by "end-to-end" encryption, according to Wired.
Similar to how Apple’s iMessages operate, WhatsApp has locked up its messaging platform and thrown away the key, so that even the company itself cannot access your content. This effectively means that if the US government hits WhatsApp with a court order demanding information on a suspect, they no longer have to comply because they reasonably cannot untangle the encryption.
One in seven use WhatsApp. Are you one of them?