Those concerned about the privacy and security of their messages have nothing to worry about if they are part of the one billion users on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp announced that it will now feature end-to-end encryption for all types of messages sent on the platform.
While text messages have already been encrypted in the app starting back in 2013, phone calls, photos and video will now also be secured so that no one will be able to access these communications.
Now that all forms of communication will be completely private in the app, not even WhatsApp employees will be able to read data that is sent. That means that even the government will not be able to access any texts, photos, video or voice calls made, because WhatsApp simply cannot provide them with this information. Only the recipient of a message will be able to receive and view said messages.
Of course, this news comes after the court battle between the FBI and Apple regarding the company unlocking the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist was put on hold.
It might seem like Apple and companies like WhatsApp are just trying to block law enforcement from being able to do their job, but data encryption falls under a larger umbrella that has to do with protecting our privacy.
"Building secure products actually makes for a safer world, (though) many people in law enforcement may not agree with that," co-founder of WhatsApp Brian Acton told Wired.
For example, people can discuss their health condition with their doctor or even be a whistleblower without having to worry about the information or their identity being exposed.
That doesn't mean that people don't use WhatsApp to plot criminal activity because they know the network is secure. The Justice Department didn't shy away from taking Apple to court, so it could be only a matter of time before a similar case comes against WhatsApp. The only difference is that, now, there will be nothing the company can do to assist the government.
It was rumored last month that WhatsApp would be encrypting its voice calls within the next few weeks. End-to-end encryption support for all types of messages in the app will start rolling out for all WhatsApp users, no matter if they use iOS, Android or Windows Phone via an update.
Photo: Jan Persiel | Flickr