WhatsApp’s Android iteration can now boast end-to-end encryption for your messages, according to a new report. The functionality has been baked into the latest update for the app, and the encryption is turned on by default.
The “end-to-end” part means WhatsApp (or Facebook, its owner) won’t be able to decrypt your messages, even if it is compelled to do so by law enforcement agencies.
This, in fact, makes WhatsApp more secure than most of its competitors, as it now has the strongest security ever seen on a mobile messaging app. WhatsApp partnered with Open Whisper Systems for the implementation, using open source code to build the new features. Getting the code ready for WhatsApp to use took around six months, so it was no easy task.
Right now the encryption is only available on Android, and it’s unclear when it will be baked into the iOS app. There are similar apps offering this level of privacy, but none of them has WhatsApp’s reach, which has over 600 million users worldwide.