T4L: WhatsApp Introduces Encryption

Yup, arguably the most popular messaging platform in the word just launched end to end encryption.  So, whether you’re chatting about your plans to attack a killer sandwich or to blow up an exam, your instant messages are protected, as of, well, now.

End to end data encryption is certainly not new.  Less popular but more secure apps like Telegram have been offering the feature for a long time.  But, the Facebook-owned Whatsapp has about a billion, with a ‘b’,  users around the globe making this announcement significant.  Note too; the feature is not optional.  I repeat, it is not optional.

Encryption is turned on by default, for everyone who uses the app.  Whatsapp has no access to the data in conversations and cannot be compelled by any government body or agency to turn over your conversation data.

Unlike email encryption systems, Whatsapp provides a separate, new, unique encryption key for every new conversation.  The key itself is verifiable between users, adding to the level of security offered.

Of course, the feature is useless as a privacy tool if you leave your phone lying around unlocked, but short of that, you can rest assured neither the government or your neighbour can access your Whatsapp messages.  Happy texting!

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