Facebook announces WhatsApp’s end-to-end encrypted chat backups for iOS and Android are available from Thursday. The company has offered end-to-end encryption for chats for years, but with this new change, you can get that same level of encryption with your backups.
WhatsApp backups are stored in iCloud or Google Drive, but that means that Apple or Google could hand over the backups to governments or law enforcement if compelled. With the change available on Thursday, you can secure your WhatsApp cloud backups with a password or a 64-digit encryption key, which theoretically means that no one else but you will be able to access the backup.
While end-to-end encrypted messages you send and receive are stored on your device, many people also want a way to back up their chats in case they lose their phone. Starting today, we are making available an extra, optional layer of security to protect backups stored on Google Drive or iCloud with end-to-end encryption. No other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voice messages, video calls and chat backups.
You can now secure your end-to-end encrypted backup with either a password of your choice or a 64-digit encryption key that only you know. Neither WhatsApp nor your backup service provider will be able to read your backups or access the key required to unlock it.