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WhatsApp Indicators for End-to-End Encryption on Calls, Status Spotted to Be in the Works

WhatsApp wants users to know their calls and Status are protected with the same end-to-encryption as their messages.

WhatsApp Indicators for End-to-End Encryption on Calls, Status Spotted to Be in the Works

Photo Credit: Unsplash/ Mourizal Zativa

WhatsApp protects messages and calls with end-to-end encryption, but metadata is not encrypted

  • Messages on WhatsApp are protected with end-to-end encryption
  • WhatsApp will inform users that calls and Status are also encrypted
  • WhatsApp uses the same encryption protocol as Signal Private Messenger

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 end to end encryption indicators wabetainfo whatsapp

The new WhatsApp end-to-end encryption indicators that are currently under development
Photo Credit: 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.

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David Delima
As a writer on technology with Gadgets 360, David Delima is interested in open-source technology, cybersecurity, consumer privacy, and loves to read and write about how the Internet works. David can be contacted via email at DavidD@ndtv.com, on Twitter at @DxDavey, and Mastodon at mstdn.social/@delima. More
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