For the first time, WhatsApp makes a small difference in terms of encryption

For the first time, WhatsApp makes a small difference in terms of encryption

With the arrival of chains on WhatsApp, the messaging application breaks one of its flagship promises: encryption of all data by default.

Privacy and security are in our genes These are WhatsApp’s comments to brag about the presence of end-to-end encryption by default in its application since 2016. With this mode, all internet users’ messages are protected and secret. No one can see them, not even WhatsApp.

In this area, the application is among the most advanced in this field. But the arrival of WhatsApp channels will slightly disrupt this principle, which has falsified the identity of the service in recent years. Like the channels on Telegram, which allow you to share news with other users, WhatsApp hopes to offer an equivalent solution. In a published article on June 8, 2023, the application presents its service as a ” simple, reliable and personal way to receive important news from people and organizations on our platform. »

This new feature does not include end-to-end encryption by default, to enable these chains” to reach a wide audience “. It is offered as an option, but you will have to think about activating it. The app ensures that the personal information of channel managers and their followers is protected. The manager of a channel sees the phone numbers and profile pictures of people who are on the channel are not subscribed.

Encryption is an important aspect of WhatsApp // Source: Unsplash / Numerama

For a person who follows a channel, the sister’s phone number will not be disclosed to the admin or other followers of that channel. The user’s choices in the channels they follow also remain private. On some channels where the audience would be smaller, WhatsApp thinks it’s useful to encrypt the channels end-to-end. These can be non-profit or health organizations.

Data security remains paramount

Although end-to-end encryption is possible, the arrival of chains differs from the communication of the American company. If subscribers cannot speak in a channel (only the admin can), uncertainties remain about the confidentiality of these channels. The fact that they are not end-to-end encrypted means that the information shared on them may be visible to unwanted third parties.

Data that can be easily hacked? // Source: Canva

In an application that has always emphasized the confidentiality of data shared between users, the advent of chains threatens to create relative confusion among the public. By disabling end-to-end encryption by default, Internet users find themselves in an environment that combines both situations. Not ideal to see clearly.

Subscribe Numerama on Google News so you don’t miss any info!