Photo Credit: Unsplash/ Mourizal Zativa
WhatsApp is working on two new visual indicators to inform users about end-to-end encryption used across different parts of the messaging app. The features were spotted on the app's Call and Status screen on the iOS version of WhatsApp. On the calling screen, users are informed that their personal calls are protected with end-to-end encryption, while on the status screen, a message indicates that a user's status is end-to-end encrypted.
The new visual indicators on WhatsApp were spotted by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo on the iOS version of WhatsApp. The feature is said to be under development, which means that users won't be able to see it at the moment. Screenshots of the new indicators show the words “Your personal calls are end-to-end encrypted” on the Calls screen, under the call list. Similarly, the Status screen shows the words “Your status is end-to-end encrypted” in the screenshots shared by WABetaInfo.
WhatsApp uses the same encryption protocol as the one used in Signal, which is widely considered the gold standard in secure mobile messaging apps today. The company turned on always-on end-to-end encryption for all chats for its one-billion user base back in 2016. End-to-end encryption is designed to protect communication so that only the sender and recipient are able to see the content. However, unlike Signal, metadata (or information about your messages) is not protected by end-to-end encryption and is shared with parent company Meta.
It is worth noting that WhatsApp has already released a series of advertisements on TV and social media about the end-to-end encryption employed for messages and attachments on the app, as well as the view-once feature. WhatsApp also informs users that their chats are protected by end-to-end encryption when starting a new conversation. The new indicators appear to be designed to inform users that Status and Calls are also protected by the same technology and should be rolled out to the beta and stable versions of the app in the future.