WhatsApp is making a big push for privacy, adding end-to-end encryption to its Android app. The “end-to-end” part means WhatsApp won’t be able to decrypt your messages, even if it is compelled to do so by law enforcement agencies.
This, in fact, makes WhatsApp more secure than most of its competitors, as it now has the strongest security ever seen on a mobile messaging app. WhatsApp partnered with Open Whisper Systems for the implementation, using open source code to build the new features. Getting the code ready for WhatsApp to use took around six months, so it was no easy task.
Right now the encryption is only available on Android, and it’s unclear when it will be baked into the iOS app. There are similar apps offering this level of privacy, but none of them has WhatsApp’s reach, which has over 600 million users worldwide.
What makes end-to-end encryption the safest option over the alternatives is that it only gives security keys to the two people who are involved in a chat, meaning even if WhatsApp was pressured to hand over data, they literally have no way of decrypting your convo. We’ve reached out to WhatsApp for more info regarding this new feature.