WhatsApp Will Get Security Indicators to Highlight Encrypted Chats

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WhatsApp also adds option to share data with Facebook. Version 3.0 of the WhatsApp mobile messaging application will be sporting two new features, one that will bolster the its security and one that will put a dent in it shortly after.

Javier Santos is a Spanish mobile developer who created the Beta Updater for WhatsAppAndroid application. This app lets users download and install the most recent WhatsApp beta versions that Facebook’s WhatsApp staff makes available via the whatsapp.com website.

After installing one of the app’s most recent beta versions, while searching the new WhatsApp 3.0 interface, Mr. Santos discovered two new settings in the app’s control panel.

WhatsApp will show a “lock” icon to let you know it can encrypt

The first is in the Security section and is in the form of a new setting called “Show security indicators.” Turning on this setting will add a lock icon to your WhatsApp encrypted conversations.

WhatsApp has been encrypting all communications by default for quite some time now, and this feature may have been added only for marketing purposes, to promote the app’s secure chat capabilities, which very few people knew about.

Most of the time, when you search the Internet for a secure mobile IM client, most bloggers and security experts will recommend other apps like Telegram, Threema, Surespot, Cryptocat, Sicher, or Apple’s iMessage. With more people wanting to keep their privacy these days, WhatsApp may be interested in letting them know about this feature.

WhatsApp will share data with Facebook

The second new setting Mr. Santos discovered was in the Account section, with the addition of a new option that says “Share my account info.”

This setting will send the user’s WhatsApp data to Facebook servers “to improve [their] Facebook experiences.”

The good part is that this privacy-intrusive setting comes turned off by default, so you won’t automatically start syncing data between the two accounts when you update to version 3.0.

There are no current details on what Facebook wants to siphon out of your WhatsApp account, but this change may be a direct consequence of WhatsApp dropping its yearly subscription fee. With no possibility of dumping ads in the middle of your conversations, Facebook may be settling on the next best thing, which is your personal info that it can use in its advertising business.

Of course, some people might argue that, since WhatsApp was bought by Facebook, all your data was already in Facebook’s possession, and adding this setting would only make it official.

Option to share data from WhatsApp to Facebook

Option to share data from WhatsApp to Facebook