WhatsApp takes user privacy to next level: secrecy

WhatsApp has further tightened user messaging security with a feature that allows you to keep your chats private – from anyone who might have access to your phone. Cybernews innocently wonders who could possibly need such a thing.

Don’t want your partner to know you’re texting that attractive colleague you work with, but you both happen to share the same phone? Worry not – WhatsApp will help you flirt in private to your heart’s content.

The Meta-owned messaging app rolled out a new function on November 30th, which allows mobile phone owners to protect their conversations with a “secret code.”

WhatsApp describes this as “an additional way to protect those chats and make them harder to find if someone has access to your phone or you share a phone with someone else.”

It adds that the secret code feature is a follow-up to the Chat Lock function released earlier this year, which it described as a way to “protect your most intimate conversations behind one more layer of security.”

At the time, WhatsApp described Chat Lock as a way to remove a conversation thread from the inbox and keep it stored in a folder that could only be accessed with the “device password or biometric, like a fingerprint.”

Apparently, this has not been enough for WhatsApp’s more privacy-conscious customers, who are now being given the option “to set a unique password different from what you use to unlock your phone to give your locked chats an extra layer of privacy.”

It added: “You'll have the option to hide the Locked Chats folder from your chatlist so that they can only be discovered by typing your secret code in the search bar.”

And if that wasn’t enough, the new feature is convenient too, well set up to facilitate a – dare one say it? – sharp exit.

“Whenever there’s a new chat which you want to lock, you can now long press to lock it rather than visiting the chat’s settings,” said WhatsApp.

It would certainly appear that the messaging app believes some customers who share a mobile phone with someone else need an awful lot of privacy.

What ever could they be thinking, one wonders?