How WhatsApp Is Pushing to Protect Its Users’ Privacy

Messages and calls sent through the app will now be encrypted.

Soon, the text and voice conversations of WhatsApp’s one billion users will be better protected thanks to the messaging app’s latest update.

On Tuesday, Open Whisper Systems revealed in a blog postthat has completed work to integrate its encryption technology into the Facebook-owned FB -0.40% app. Now, all WhatsApp chats, group chats, attachments, voice notes, and voice calls on Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, Nokia S40, Nokia S60, Blackberry, and BB10 devices will be protected with strong encryption if the user is running the latest version of the app. Moreover, the app will make it clear whether a message is encrypted or not, which can be useful if, say, one user in a group chat isn’t running the latest version. The group will be notified of which messages are encrypted and which aren’t.

A WhatsApp spokesman confirmed the two companies’ collaboration on the effort.

In February, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koumpublicly came out in support of Apple’s AAPL -1.18% stance against the FBI’s push that it help it unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters.

“I have always admired Tim Cook for his stance on privacy and Apple’s efforts to protect user data and couldn’t agree more with everything said in their Customer Letter today,” he wrote in a Facebook post at the time. “We must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set. Today our freedom and our liberty is at stake.”


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