Mobile Phones

WhatsApp uses your fingerprint as a extra layer of privacy

WhatsApp is one of the most important applications -if not the most important – available on our cell phones. But it has also been transformed into a key element of our digital life, with messages, photographs, or audios. Therefore, the privacy of this content has been a permanent concern. And the messaging app of Facebook seems to have listened, because you’ve implemented a function that allows you to block the app with your fingerprint.

The new feature was already available for iOS devices since some months ago, and now it is releasing in beta version for computers with Android system.

Do I get the function?

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Although the beta 2.19.221 it is releasing gradually, to know if you will receive it, your mobile device must have Android Marshmallow or a more recent version and, in addition, must have a fingerprint sensor. If you meet these requirements, sooner or later will come to your team with periodic updates.

If you’re impatient, you can also expedite this process. An alternative is to be registered in the program of Beta Testers of the application-that already does not accept any more registrations – and install the beta 2.19.221.

Another alternative is to reinstall completely the app. To do this, we suggest that you perform a backup history of your chats, and to re-install WhatsApp, so that you will receive the latest available version of the application on the servers.

How to set up the lock

To enable this feature, you must open the application and go to Settings in WhatsApp> Account> Privacy. If you have the latest version of Whatsapp, you should find the new option called Lock fingerprint.

If you decide to enable this new feature you will be able to reply to messages or answer the calls you receive in the application, since the authentication is only required when you need to open WhatsApp.

Auto-lock and notifications

The new update also gives you the ability to choose when you need to authenticate your identity. For example, if you choose Immediately, the application will prompt you to confirm your identity each time you open it. You can also configure the authentication with 1 minute or 30 minutes after last use. In the version of iOS the app in addition offers you the alternative of 15 minutes.

If the lock fingerprint is enabled, you can choose the option to Show content in the notification, to allow it to see the message and a preview of the sender. Otherwise, the widget notifications will display the message “Content hidden because of the blockade by footprint“.

Privacy

In terms of privacy, the use of the fingerprint is considered to be safe. Neither WhatsApp nor any other application can access your data traces, since the authentication process is managed by Android.

Given that the application uses the API official of Android, no information will be sent to the servers of Whastapp or Facebook, the owner of the app.

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