New Delhi: Facebook-owned WhatsApp said on Friday it will give its two billion users the option to encrypt their chat backups to the cloud, taking a significant step to put a lid on one of the tricky ways private communication between individuals on the app can be compromised.
The company claimed that with end-to-end encrypted backups, no other messaging service at WhatsApp's scale will provide this level of security for people's messages.
"We are announcing this now to provide the broader technical community with our approach before it's available to our beta testers and eventually everyday users," the company said in a statement.
"In the coming weeks, we will be adding end-to-end encrypted backups as an additional layer of security for those who want it," the company added.
If someone chooses to back up their chat history with end-to-end encryption, it will be accessible only to them, and no one will be able to unlock their backup, not even WhatsApp.
"This is a really big privacy advancement, particularly at our scale of more than 2 billion users who send more than 100 billion messages a day," the company said.
"We believe that this will give our users a meaningful advancement in the safety of their personal messages," it added.
The company will be releasing this as an optional feature and in the coming weeks it will be rolling this out to iOS and Android users.
WhatsApp is reportedly working on other privacy features too.
Recently, a report said that WhatsApp will soon let users hide their online status from anyone who can't be trusted.
Currently, 'Last Seen', 'Profile Picture' and 'About' can either be seen by everyone, contacts, or no one at all. There are no customisable options, the report said.