WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups rolling out; may put pressure on Apple - 9to5Mac
Oct 14, 2021 1 min, 13 secs

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month announced that WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups were on the way for those who like to store backups on cloud services like iCloud and Google Drive.

Actual WhatsApp chats are always end-to-end encrypted, but this new feature means that any backups you choose to make get the same level of protection ….

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.

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.

More information about how you can protect your chat backups with end-to-end encryption on iOS and Android can be found here, and more information about how we built it can be found here.

Facebook does issue the obvious warning that E2E encrypted backups cannot be restored if you forget your password, as neither WhatsApp nor your cloud service will be able to decrypt the file.

Once the feature rolls out, open WhatsApp, go to Settings > Chats > Chat Backups > End-to-End Encrypted Backup, and then follow the prompts.

The move may increase pressure on Apple to introduce end-to-end encryption for iCloud backups of iPhones.

A number of us had wondered whether Apple’s CSAM plans might have been a precursor to end-to-end encryption of iCloud backups, as on-device scanning would ensure these were detected before backups were created.

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