WhatsApp introduces 'Chat Lock' feature for enhanced privacy; Here's all you need to know

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WhatsApp introduces 'Chat Lock' feature for enhanced privacy; Here's all you need to know (Image: pixabay.com)
WhatsApp introduces 'Chat Lock' feature for enhanced privacy; Here's all you need to know (Image: pixabay.com)

Delhi : The 'Chat Lock' function, which was announced on Monday by WhatsApp, the messaging service owned by Meta, is intended to increase user privacy. With the help of this function, conversations are safely stored in a password-protected folder, preventing alerts from revealing the sender or contents of messages.

They are concealed in a password-protected folder, and alerts won't display the sender or content of the messages, according to Mark Zuckerberg, founder, chairman, and CEO of Meta, who also confirmed the new feature in a Facebook post.

A conversation thread will be moved from the app's default inbox to a special folder that can only be accessed with a password or biometric identification, such fingerprint or face recognition. The new function guarantees improved privacy and security for users' private communications. Meta's full privacy package includes the ability for WhatsApp users to encrypt backups, limit snapshot capabilities, and enable automated message disappearance.


The new feature comes after the US social media giant argued that the UK's planned Online Safety Bill would "weaken the privacy" of users globally. Concerns have been raised about the UK government's plan for digital companies to help law enforcement authorities in preventing child sexual abuse on their platforms.

Last month, WhatsApp and other messaging platforms wrote an open letter seeking a "urgent rethink" of the legislation.

"The UK government is currently considering new legislation that opens the door to trying to force technology companies to break end-to-end encryption on private messaging services," WhatsApp wrote in an open letter published on its site on April 17.

The letter, signed by WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart and executives from other messaging services such as Signal and Wire, stated: "We don't think any company, government, or person should have the power to read your personal messages, and we'll continue to defend encryption technology." OPTF/Session, Threema, Viber, and Element are just a few of the business titans that have signed a letter opposing the law.

The letter makes the case that the new rules might result in extensive and indiscriminate surveillance of private communications, which would have an impact on a variety of people, including friends, family, journalists, human rights advocates, and politicians. It stresses that such actions would jeopardise everyone's capacity to interact privately and begs for a change in the law to put privacy and security first.

The letter's signatories and business leaders are pleading with the UK government to change its stance and stress the significance of maintaining encryption, safeguarding privacy, and preventing widespread monitoring of private conversations. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he "will not introduce routine scanning of private communication" in response to the argument. The state "supports strong encryption, but this cannot come at the expense of public safety," according to Sunak's spokeswoman.