Right now, local backups aren’t protected by end-to-end encryption. This measure will prevent any user or entity from reading our private chats. This encryption will now be available for local backups.
This feature has been found in the latest betas of the Android application, although it should come to the iOS version too.
WhatsApp is going to protect local backups with end-to-end encryption
To date, WhatsApp was working on end-to-end encryption in cloud backups. This means no one besides us, not even the company itself, can read the contents of those backups. In addition, they are also working to be able to encrypt them with passwords and improve our privacy even further.
In the settings, when you enter the backups section, you will be shown how both backups are encrypted, when this feature finally reaches the stable version.
The operation for encrypting these local backups will apparently be the same as we have seen with those located in the cloud; we will be asked to enter a password and save a 64-digit code that we will have to keep. This way if we forget our password, we can restore the backup. If we lose the code, we will lose access to these copies.
As usual, this new feature is not available yet. But it has already appeared in WhatsApp betas which means it will arrive in the stable version within a few weeks.