WhatsApp is rolling out complete end-to-end encryption on the messaging platform, providing solid privacy and security to users everywhere.
What this development entails is that only the sender and the recipient will get to read a conversation, or in a group chat, only the people involved in it have access to the messages. That means no one else can lay their eyes on them, not even WhatsApp itself. As a finishing touch, the messages are even deleted from the servers after they have been sent out, the company claims.
"The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation," WhatsApp says.
Long story short, this update won't have any effect whatsoever on the chatting experience of the company's more than 1 billion users, but it does make things difficult for government authorities to ask for communication data from the company, even if they have the warrant to do so.
One notable example of law enforcement aggressively seeking information from a tech company is the legal run-in Apple had with the FBI that involves the San Bernardino shooting, which has been partially resolved.
WhatsApp cofounder and CEO Jan Koum showed respect for Apple CEO Tim Cook's stance on the matter via Facebook, saying that "our freedom and our liberty are at stake" at the time. This is a good indication of how much he values user privacy and security.
As mentioned earlier, WhatsApp doesn't keep user conversations in its servers, and because of that, the company's position is arguably more drastic compared to the Cupertino brand's. A Brazilian executive even got arrested because of the messaging app's encryption last month.
To boil things down, users won't exactly see any change in using WhatsApp, but they will be glad to know their conversations are in no one else's hands but theirs.