WhatsApp today told Wired it switched to full end-to-end encryption. This means that messages, phone calls, video and photos can only be accessed by the sender and receiver. To use end-to-end encryption users have to update to the latest version of the messaging app.
End-to-end encryption is enabled for both one-to-one chats and group chats. With the encryption in place the company can no longer comply with court orders because also WhatsApp employees can no longer see the contents of what’s passing their network.
WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is based on the Signal Protocol, developed by Open Whisper Systems. Users will be notified when their conversation is end-to-end encrypted and the encryption status of each chat can be requested through the app’s settings.
Enabling encryption is a huge move for the Facebook owned chat app that is currently used by more than 1 billion users.