WhatsApp Reportedly Working on Adding a New Label to Indicate Conversations Are End-to-End Encrypted

WhatsApp Reportedly Working on Adding a New Label to Indicate Conversations Are End-to-End Encrypted

WhatsApp has been spotted working on a new end-to-end encryption (E2EE) label for individual and group conversations that is reportedly in development. The popular messaging application will show a message within chats that will confirm that the messages sent and received are encrypted and WhatsApp does not store any of the information. The new encryption visibility feature comes just days after Meta published a post highlighting the issues it is facing with E2EE and the resultant delays in implementing third-party chats in Europe following the enactment of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Spotted by feature tracker WABetaInfo, the new development was seen in WhatsApp beta for Android 2.24.6.11 for some beta testers. The update was rolled out on March 9 through the Google Play Beta Program. The report claimed that the feature has only reached some beta testers, which points to a limited release. This is likely because it is still in the early stage and the developers intend to make more changes to it.

whatsapp encryption label WhatsApp feature

WhatsApp’s new end-to-end encryption label
Photo Credit: WABetaInfo

 

As per the report, a new label stating end-to-end encrypted was seen below the space where the Contact name or Group name is shown. The text was preceded by a lock icon. The label disappears after a few seconds, showing the last seen status in individual conversations and participants’ names in group conversations. This appears to be a new layer of encryption visibility within the app.

Interestingly, WhatsApp already shows an E2EE label on the home screen at the bottom of the screen, below all the chats. It also shows the same in voice and video call screens, statuses, and more. Further, users can always go to the Encryption tab on the contact info page and verify encryption manually. As per the report, with this label, the messaging app might be securing a proactive reminder about the encryption status in a place where it is easily visible to the user.

This would be useful given Meta recently highlighted the risk of encryption with third-party chats in Europe. The company, which uses Signal protocol-based Noise Protocol Framework to encrypt data, said that while it will take responsibility for ensuring encryption at the WhatsApp user’s end and during the transit of data, it cannot do the same once the data reaches the third-party platform’s end. Notably, the social media giant has asked messaging apps to sign an agreement with Meta and use either the Signal protocol or another compatible protocol.


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