The presentation deals with the latest updates of whatsapp with the end to end encryption and Facebook integration explained in a very detailed manner from the basics with advantages and disadvantages.
What is END To END Encryption?
• WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption is available when you and the people
you message use the latest versions of the app.
• WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person
you're communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between,
not even WhatsApp.
• This is because your messages are secured with a lock, and only the
recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read them.
For added protection, every message you send has its own unique lock
• All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or set up
special secret chats to secure your messages.
End To End Encryption - Advantages
• The new end-to-end encryption feature is based on the Signal Protocol,
designed by Open Whisper Systems.
• According to the technical White Paper on WhatsApp encryption, the end-
to-end encryption protocol has been designed to prevent third parties and
WhatsApp from having plaintext access to messages or calls.
• From now on, when you send any message to a group or an individual, the
data will only be visible to you and the group/individual you sent it to—no
one else can peep inside that message.
• A blog said: “No one can see inside that message. Not cyber criminals. Not
hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even Whatsapp. End-to-end
encryption helps to make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of
like a face-to-face conversation.”
• Now this is an amazing initiative, considering the exponential increase of
hackers in the recent past. With more people using smartphones and
instant messaging platforms for business, the new feature will certainly
assist users in keeping data protected from cyber criminals.
• In fact, more businesses and organizations are excessively employing
mobile-based messaging platforms for discussing company policies, plans,
and other confidential details. In such a scenario, this feature will
definitely help in safeguarding data better.
• With the new end-to-end encryption feature, WhatsApp will not only
protect text messages, but will also secure photos, videos, voice
messages, documents, and even calls.
• Now individual users will be able to share data without any hiccups. As
mentioned earlier, WhatsApp claims that even they cannot access the
• According to another blog, with the new update, all your messages on
WhatsApp will be secured with a lock and “only the recipient and you have
the special key”
to unlock and access them.
• “For added protection, every message you send has its own unique lock
and key. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or
set up special secret chats to secure your messages,” the blog added.
End To End Encryption - Disadvantages
• While the aforementioned points indicate that the Facebook-owned
instant messaging app is taking serious measures to sustain security
requisites of users, there is a serious loophole that needs to be addressed
to make it full proof.
• Sure the new measure will prevent cyber-crimes, hacking, and misuse of
data, but at the same time it will become a safe haven for terrorists and
criminals to communicate, which is a huge setback.
• In Apple’s case, the main issue raised was related to iPhone users, which is
a fraction of WhatsApp users in the world. However, encrypting the
messaging platform opens the door for a large number of criminals and
terrorists to communicate safely without coming under the radar.
• While encrypting messages is a great step by WhatsApp, they should also
figure out a way to accumulate as much user data as possible at the time
of signing up/installing WhatsApp.
• Currently, the process of joining the messaging is so simple that even a 10-
year-old can set it up in less than five minutes. With augmented focus on
safekeeping data, the company should at least try to come up with a
restricted sign-up process to avoid malicious users.
• To sum it up, the new end-to-end encryption protocol is definitely
something that will protect you from the cyber-attacks, hackers, and
• However, the WhatsApp crew should also look for ways to tauten the
initial installation/ signup procedure to avoid unwanted users, and have
some record about each of its user in case of an emergency.
What is Facebook Integration of
• At the time Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 for nearly $ 19 billion, co-
founder Jan Koum insisted WhatsApp would remain true to its mission,
which was to respect user privacy, and not collect user data.
• Explanation given by Facebook
“We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address. We
don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for
on the Internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been
collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change
that… It has the effect of scaring people into thinking we’re suddenly
collecting all kinds of new data… our future partnership with Facebook will
not compromise the vision that brought us to this point,” Koum wrote.
What is Account info Sharing?
• This information includes the device used, online status, usage and log
• The reasoning: To help improve ad experiences, to more accurately count
unique users and fight spam and abuse. Exactly how Facebook ads will
improve with WhatsApp information is left unclear, but there is more.
• WhatsApp is also getting ready to welcome services such as banks, airlines
on the app, an idea that has been discussed earlier as well. WhatsApp’s
latest blog says this: These services are coming soon, and they will start
testing it on the app. For WhatsApp, which has never actually made any
money, and is still not serving ads, this is one way of generating revenue.
• And yes it could make the app even more potent in its fight against SMS
and other players, especially an app like Telegram. WhatsApp plans to be
even more indispensable to the user by integrating services, rather than
an app where people keep sharing ‘good morning messages’.
Can a user opt out from this?
Technically yes. Users have 30 days after they accept the new terms of service
to not allow Facebook sharing. There is an option in the Account tab of
WhatsApp Settings to uncheck Sharing Info with Facebook. Once you choose
not to share information with Facebook, you won’t be able to change this
setting in the future. Interestingly, WhatsApp says, “Your chats and phone
number will not be shared on to Facebook regardless of this setting.” “On to”
is the operative part here — it means that your number won’t be added on to
Facebook, but information sharing will happen nonetheless.
So what really happens
businesses, to communicate with each other using WhatsApp, such as
through order, transaction, and appointment information, delivery and
shipping notifications, product and service updates, and marketing. For
example, you may receive flight status information for upcoming travel, a
receipt for something you purchased, or a notification when a delivery will
be made. Messages you may receive containing marketing could include
an offer for something that might interest you.”
• The last bit is interesting because WhatsApp says it won’t be serving ads
to users, but don’t be surprised if marketing offers turn up from these
services on the app. For WhatsApp, services are a way of generating
revenue without resorting to outright ads. The world’s biggest message
app wants to be indispensable to users by integrating services.
• For the first time, WhatsApp is also looking at copyrighted content, and
now wants to help people, organizations “protect their intellectual
property rights”. It is not clear how this will apply to, say, video clips or
songs people might share on the app, because the app is technically end-
to-end encrypted, and says it doesn’t read a user’s messages.
• But infringement could also include profile pictures, profile name, etc., so
it might help in cases where people’s profile photos are stolen to create
another WhatsApp account.