WhatsApp is an app whose messages, calls, and video calls are end-to-end encrypted, so no one can see them. However, backups stored in the cloud, namely iCloud and Google Drive, are not. They are not protected like messages. WhatsApp itself warns that:
However, that appears to be close to changing, as WhatsApp is working on encrypting those backups using a password, as picked up by WaBetaInfo.
WhatsApp is working on password-encrypted more secure cloud backups
As previously announced, @WhatsApp is working on cloud backups encryption.
The chat database and media will be safe from unauthorized access when using a password. The password is private and it's not sent to WhatsApp.
It will be available in a future build for iOS and Android. pic.twitter.com/Lp06PaECBX
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) March 8, 2021
According to the well-known “leaker” of WhatsApp functions, the most popular messaging application in our borders will allow encrypting backups in the cloud. As we can see in the screenshots accompanying this tweet, WhatsApp will allow protecting backups with a private password that “is not sent to WhatsApp”.
When the backup is stored in the cloud, it will be protected by such a password. Also, the application will ask the user for the password when he wants to retrieve his chats, images, and videos. Since WhatsApp does not store the password, it will not be possible to recover it in case of loss or forgetting.
WaBetaInfo reminds us that the database of chats stored in the backup is encrypted, but that the algorithm is reversible and that it is not end-to-end encrypted. Also, WaBetaInfo ensures that local backups, those stored in the memory of Android phones, will also be compatible with this new security measure.
At the moment there is no news about its official arrival on all smartphones, so we will have to wait. On the other hand, it should be noted that this is not the first time we hear about this feature. Last May 20 WaBetaInfo advanced the arrival of encrypted backups, but so far they have not materialized officially.