WhatsApp subscribers reportedly will be able to biometrically lock individual chats, according to Android Police, filling a perceived security gap in Meta’s popular messaging service, which is known to tout its privacy safeguards.
WhatsApp can be unlocked with a passcode, fingerprint or face. But subscribers cannot use biometrics to lock individual chat threads. That may change with the next update to Play Store, version 188.8.131.52, which reportedly will incorporate a toggle, now in development, to lock and hide chats with a fingerprint or passcode.
The news is welcome to those who trust what Meta maintains is the app’s security superiority. It includes two-factor authentication, end-to-end encrypted backup and fingerprint lock. In an Instagram post from October, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that “WhatsApp is far more private and secure than iMessage,” Apple’s instant messaging product. But WhatsApp has lagged competitors like Telegram in incorporating advanced biometric features.