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  1. WhatsApp for Android may finally get support for Face Unlock Back in 2019, Facebook released an update for WhatsApp on iOS that added support for Face ID and Touch ID, allowing users to unlock the app by utilizing these technologies. Unfortunately, after more than a year, Android users still don't have the option to use Face Unlock on WhatsApp. However, that might change soon as the folks over at WABetaInfo have spotted a couple of additions to the latest version of WhatsApp Beta. The version 2.20.203.3 update of WhatsApp Beta contains a redesigned privacy page that renames the current "Fingerprint lock" to "Biometric lock" indicating support for Face Unlock. Facebook has also updated the description of the page to indicate that users can now use "fingerprint, face or other unique identifiers to unlock WhatsApp". Apart from that, WABetaInfo also noticed a feature called "Join missed calls". The idea is to allow users to join calls in certain situations like when a group call is made and a participant did not join immediately, they can join the call at a later time, provided the call has not ended. Both of these features are currently under development and there is no word on when Facebook will roll them out to the public. WhatsApp does have an active beta program for Android users that you can join if you want to get your hands on these features as quickly as possible. Source: WABetaInfo WhatsApp for Android may finally get support for Face Unlock
  2. WhatsApp is now offering encrypted cloud backups, here's how you can enable it WhatsApp has finally added an option to allow users to encrypt their cloud backups. The feature first showed up back in March 2020 and is finally making its way to the users. WhatsApp has offered end-to-end encryption for chats, but the company has been clear that the encryption does not extend to cloud backups stored on Google Drive. However, with the new feature, Android users will be able to set a password before uploading the backups on Google Drive. As WhatsApp notes, encrypting the backups will mean that users will need to enter the password when restoring a backup. The company further notes that it will not be able to help in case someone forgets the password as it is not shared with WhatsApp or Google. If you want extra security, then you can choose the "Use 64-digit Encryption key instead" option which will generate a random encryption key. Do make sure to take a backup of the key as WhatsApp will ask when you restore a backup and the company can't help you recover the key if you lose it. To use the feature, you will need to follow the steps below: Open WhatsApp and tap on the three dots on the top right corner. Now, navigate to Settings > Chats > Chat backup Now select "Encrypt your Backups" under the 'Google Drive settings' section Tap on "Continue" and then tap on "Create Password" Now enter a password and tap on "Next". Do note that here you can tap on "Use 64-digit Encryption key instead" option if you want to use an encryption key instead of a password. Re-enter the password and tap on "Confirm" to enable encryption Currently, the feature is only available on version 2.21.15.5 of WhatsApp for Android Beta. However, we do expect the company to roll it out to all the users in the coming months. Unfortunately, there is no word on encryption backup support for iOS users. WhatsApp is now offering encrypted cloud backups, here's how you can enable it
  3. WhatsApp brings Snapchat-like ‘View Once’ messaging, more, to iOS Beta app WhatsApp has updated its beta app for iOS and has brought along a number of new features, reports WABetaInfo. Principal amongst them is the new View Once feature, which is rolling out to WhatsApp Beta for iOS version 2.21.140.9. View Once mode is similar to Snapchat’s mode, where users will be able to send photos and videos which disappear after they have been viewed. You will be notified when your image is viewed, but screenshots are not blocked. WhatsApp is also bringing a new notification design to their iOS app. This will allow users to see more detail in the notifications, including stickers, GIFs, videos, and images. When you expand the notification you will be able to see older messages and newer ones also, offering a mini peek into the app. Users will however only be notified that you viewed the message if you open the notification or reply using the mini preview, making it much easier to screen your interactions. The feature is currently available to WhatsApp Beta users and should roll out to regular users in 1-2 months. via Neowin WhatsApp brings Snapchat-like ‘View Once’ messaging, more, to iOS Beta app
  4. WhatsApp Does Not Have To Immediately Suspend Accounts Reported For Piracy Last month the High Court in Delhi ordered WhatsApp to suspend accounts that allegedly shared a pirated movie. The Court also told WhatsApp to take similar action against other accounts following demands from a copyright holder. While WhatsApp did suspend accounts, the company has now convinced the Court that due to end-to-end encryption, copyright holders shouldn't have "unfettered discretion" over account suspensions. Following the release of the movie ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ in India, rightsholder Zee Entertainment Enterprises said that it had found pirated copies being circulated via WhatsApp and Telegram. Zee filed official complaints with cybercrime police and took its battle to the Delhi High Court, filing an application for interim relief against a number of defendants who either distributed the movie online or helped to facilitate such transfers. One of the defendants in the case is WhatsApp, which informed the Court that it has policies in place to deal with copyright infringement, including by suspending or terminating user accounts. In an order handed down May 20, Justice Sanjeev Narula awarded an ex-parte injunction against eight alleged pirates and ordered WhatsApp to suspend the accounts of two yet-to-be personally identified users. He also informed WhatsApp that when instructed by Zee, it must suspend the accounts of any other user alleged to have pirated the movie within 24 hours. WhatsApp Suspends Users But Objects To Future Suspensions At a video conference hearing on June 1, it was revealed that service providers for eight defendants had handed over their personal details to the plaintiffs. Counsel for four of the alleged pirates indicated that they wish to “amicably settle the matter” with Zee but whether the media company is open to settlement is not yet clear. In respect of WhatsApp, counsel Mukul Rohatgi told the Court that his client had suspended two accounts per its May order but raised concerns over the instruction to suspend future accounts based simply on the allegations of Zee. Rohatgi argued that as an “intermediary” under the Information Technology Act, 2000, WhatsApp is immune from liability for making available or hosting content circulated on the WhatsApp Service. The only situation where it could be held liable is if the company obtains “actual knowledge” that specific content is unlawful yet refuses to take down or disable that content. According to Rohatgi, mere receipt of allegations of copyright infringement from Zee does not constitute “actual knowledge” of unlawful content. Furthermore, since communications between WhatsApp accounts are encrypted end-to-end, WhatsApp cannot see what the messages contain. This means that it cannot validate the claims from Zee which effectively gives the broadcaster “unfettered discretion” to remove WhatsApp accounts as and when it chooses. Zee Entertainment Argues in Favor of Account Suspensions Representing Zee, counsel Amit Sibal said that the directions for WhatsApp to suspend accounts were “just and proper” since Zee is a responsible company and can be trusted not to misuse the order. In any event, any request by Zee can be subjected to judicial scrutiny. Sibal also welcomed additional safeguards if that would mean the injunction could remain in place. In his order, Justice Narula told the companies that the issue would require additional consideration but in the meantime, WhatsApp will not have to suspend accounts based on mere allegations of copyright infringement. The Court will make that decision instead. “This Court has been issuing such directions in relation to infringement of copyright, especially in matters where the content is published on the websites which are also referred to as ‘rogue websites’,” the Judge writes. “However, the Court prima facie finds merit in the contention of Mr. Rohatgi that since the messages between WhatsApp users are protected with an end-to-end encryption protocol, [WhatsApp] would not be in a position to review any accounts reported by the Plaintiff in the future to confirm that they are in fact selling pirated copies of the film in question. “Thus, it would be appropriate that any further direction for suspension of WhatsApp accounts be issued by the Court. Accordingly, the direction contained in the order dated 20th May, 2021 insofar as it directs [WhatsApp] to suspend the accounts, on the request of the Plaintiff, is kept in abeyance till the next date of hearing.” Justice Narula’s order can be found here (pdf) WhatsApp Does Not Have To Immediately Suspend Accounts Reported For Piracy
  5. Zuckerberg confirms much-awaited features coming soon to WhatsApp Multi-Device support, Disappearing Mode and View Once While WhatsApp is still sorting out issues around its dubious privacy policy in various countries, Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that the messaging platform will get important features soon. According to Facebook CEO and founder, the popular messaging app will soon allow users to use the same WhatsApp account on up to four different devices or multi-device support. Additionally, the company will add a few more options to its disappearing messages feature. In a chat interaction with the popular website WaBetaInfo, which tracks new features for WhatsApp, Zuckerberg and WhatsApp head Will Cathcart stated that the company is planning to release a dedicated WhatsApp application for Apple iPads soon, a feature that a lot of users had been requesting for a long time. Talking about multi-device support, Zuckerberg accepted that getting multiple devices to sync with content properly has been a challenge, however, the company has found a solution hence the feature is set to go public. “It’s been a big technical challenge to get all your messages and content to sync properly across devices even when your phone battery dies, but we’ve solved this and we’re looking forward to getting it out soon!” He said. In terms of Disappearing messages, Zuckerberg mentioned that “WhatsApp was the first global-scale messaging network to roll out end-to-end encryption but now the company is planning to roll out more disappearing messages features globally.” The new features that he spoke about include, a disappearing mode that automatically turns on disappearing messages across all the chat threads. Additionally, WhatsApp will also get a View Once feature that allows the user to open the video or photo only once before it automatically disappears. Will Cathcart also added that the public beta for multi-device support will be out in a month or two and he confirmed that the multi-device feature will also support the iPad. Zuckerberg confirms much-awaited features coming soon to WhatsApp
  6. WhatsApp caves in: Won't limit features if you reject privacy changes WhatsApp says that it will no longer limit the app's functionality for users who disagree with the new privacy policy requiring them to share their data with Facebook companies. This change of mind comes after WhatsApp updated its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service in January, leaving users three choices: to accept sharing their data with Facebook, stop using the app altogether, or delete their accounts. Four months later, in early May, the company gave up on its plans to delete user accounts, saying that, starting May 15, features would be removed one by one for users who don't agree with the new policy changes. WhatsApp reverses course once again Now, WhatsApp backtracked on its decision again, changing the wording on its website to say that users will not have their accounts deleted or lose any app functionality on May 15, even if they disagree with the privacy policy update. The change of mind comes after the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HmbBfDI) banned Facebook in May from processing WhatsApp user data for three months. "Given recent discussions with various authorities and privacy experts, we want to make clear that we will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works for those who have not yet accepted the update," the company said in a statement. "We will continue to remind users from time to time and let them accept the update, including when they choose to use relevant optional features like communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook." Even though "the majority of users who have seen the update have accepted," WhatsApp will keep showing reminders, "providing more information about the update and reminding those who haven't had a chance to do so to review and accept." Facebook companies that could access WhatsApp users' data according to the new privacy changes include Facebook, Facebook Payments, Onavo, Facebook Technologies, and CrowdTangle. "We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products," WhatsApp explains. WhatsApp was forced to provide additional information on how its apps handle user data starting with December 2020, after Apple began requiring it from all apps listed on the App Store. Right now, App Store privacy labels on WhatsApp Messenger's entry say that it is likely collecting and linking the following type of data to its users' profiles: How to back up data or delete your account If you want to migrate to other messaging platforms, you can download a report of their account and export your chat history using your iOS or Android device. If you also want to delete their accounts before switching platforms, you can do it by following step-by-step instructions for Android, iPhone, or KaiOS users. "Deleting your account is something we can't reverse as it erases your message history, removes you from all of your WhatsApp groups, and deletes your WhatsApp backups," the company says. Although your account will not be deleted for not agreeing to share your data with Facebook companies, WhatsApp also warns that accounts get automatically deleted after 120 days of inactivity, as stated in the current inactive account deletion policy. WhatsApp caves in: Won't limit features if you reject privacy changes
  7. Court Orders WhatsApp to Suspend Users Sharing Pirated Movie The High Court in Delhi has handed down an interesting order aimed at preventing piracy of the new action movie 'Radhe'. Following an application from Zee Entertainment and parallel criminal referrals, a judge has ordered WhatsApp to suspend allegedly infringing user accounts and take similar action against all other accounts subsequently reported for piracy. Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ is a new action film directed by Prabhu Deva. Originally scheduled for a May 2020 release, like many others it was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With no clear end to the virus in sight, the decision was made to release ‘Radhe’ in India via premium VOD on Zee Plex and digitally through ZEE5 on May 13, 2021. It was immediately pirated. Last week, Zee Entertainment Enterprises revealed that it had found copies of the movie being circulated online, including via WhatsApp and Telegram. “Officials are actively tracking down phone numbers involved in the act of piracy and taking required legal action,” the Zee statement read. “Zee has also appealed to the public at large, seeking their support in bringing an end to piracy, not just for the film ‘Radhe’, but for any kind of content.” Zee Entertainment Files Complaints Describing piracy as bad for everyone, Zee reported that it had filed official complaints with cybercrime police in India, one with the Inspector General of Police at the Maharashtra Cyber Digital Crime Unit and another with the Additional Commissioner of Police, Central Region, Cyber Cell. ‘Radhe’ producer Salman Khan also took to Twitter, complaining that despite offering the movie at a reasonable price, it was still being distributed illegally online using various platforms. “Cyber Cell is taking action against all these illegal pirated sites,” he wrote. “Please don’t participate in piracy or the cyber cell will take action against you as well.” Zee Entertainment also took its battle to the Delhi High Court, filing an application for interim relief against a number of defendants who either distributed the movie online, including via social media platforms, or helped to facilitate such transfers by providing the means to do so. One of those defendants is WhatsApp. According to Zee, the pay-TV platform reached out to the Facebook-owned company and provided the telephone numbers of at least eight individuals who allegedly viewed, downloaded and stored the movie on the platform without permission. No response was received. Citing the terms and conditions of WhatsApp, Zee’s counsel told the court copyright infringement is expressly forbidden and the platform has policies in place to disable and/or terminate infringing accounts. On the basis that the eight users are clearly infringing, WhatsApp should take action against their accounts, Zee argued. High Court Judge Finds In Favor of Zee In an order handed down by Justice Sanjeev Narula, the Court found that Zee had established a prima facie case in its favor. The Judge awarded an ex-parte injunction against the eight defendants restraining them from storing, reproducing, communicating, disseminating, circulating, copying, selling, or offering for sale any copies of the film, via WhatsApp or any other means. Turning to WhatsApp itself, Justice Narula directed the company to suspend the accounts of two of the yet-to-be personally identified users. It also told WhatsApp that when provided with evidence showing that any other WhatsApp user is infringing Zee’s copyrights by selling copies of its film, WhatsApp must suspend the corresponding accounts within 24 hours. Furthermore, three service providers were also ordered to disclose the contact details of the eight alleged movie pirates to Zee, within 72 hours. The case is scheduled to resume on June 1, 2021. At this stage it’s unknown whether piracy will be blamed for any future commercial disappointments related to ‘Radhe’. However, with a current rating of just 1.8 following 151,000 reviews on the Internet Movie Database, it’s clear that more fundamental barriers to success are already baked into the product. Justice Narula’s order can be viewed here (pdf) Court Orders WhatsApp to Suspend Users Sharing Pirated Movie
  8. WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy Just Kicked In. Here’s What You Need to Know Instead of a hard cutoff, the messaging app will gradually degrade and eventually cease to function if you don’t accept the changes. WhatsApp's been sharing account data with Facebook since 2016—which came as a surprise to many of its users.Photograph: John Lamparski/Getty Images At the beginning of the year, WhatsApp took the seemingly mundane step of updating its terms of use and privacy policy, mostly focused on the app's business offerings. The changes sparked a major backlash, though, because they inadvertently highlighted WhatsApp's years-old policy of sharing certain user data, like phone numbers, with parent company Facebook. Rather than change the policy that sparked the controversy, WhatsApp instead moved the deadline for users to accept it from the original date of February 8 to Saturday. If you don't? WhatsApp will become unusable. But not all at once. If you haven't accepted the new policy by now, you'll start to see more pop-ups in WhatsApp outlining the changes with a big green Accept button at the bottom. If you tap it, WhatsApp will continue to share certain account data of yours with Facebook. If you'd rather not agree, you'll at first be able to hit a back arrow in the upper left corner of the overlay. Over time, though, the pop-ups will appear more frequently. Eventually you won't be able to click away at all, and the app's functionality will start to degrade. WhatsApp originally indicated in February that anyone who declined the updates would immediately lose functionality. But the company has since opted to let the wheels very gradually come off the car over several weeks before the app careens into a ditch and stops working altogether. “For the last several weeks we've displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update,” the company said in a statement. “After giving everyone time to review, we're continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent.” Once you reach the point that WhatsApp has plastered its policy notification atop its interface, you'll still be able to use the app in some capacity for a time. You'll be able to field incoming calls, for instance, and if you have notifications turned on you can read and respond to messages that way. But you won't be able to see your chat list or initiate contact of any kind with WhatsApp friends, because again, a privacy policy update will be blocking your path. After a few weeks of that stunted experience, WhatsApp will fully pull the plug, and you won't even get calls or messages anymore. The reality is that for most users, accepting the privacy policy changes won't impact their interactions with WhatsApp very much. All communications on WhatsApp will still be end-to-end encrypted by default, meaning that your messages and photos will still only be viewable by you and the users you're chatting with. And WhatsApp still won't be able to access any of your communications or share them with Facebook. Meanwhile, WhatsApp will be able to share user account information like your phone number, logs of how long and how often you use WhatsApp, device identifiers, IP addresses, and other details about your device with Facebook. Plus, WhatsApp can share transaction and payment data, cookies, and location information with Facebook if you grant permission. All of which has been true since 2016. The strength of the backlash likely caught WhatsApp off-guard, given that it reminded users of an existing policy rather than creating a new one. Mere days after WhatsApp first announced the changes on January 4, the messaging app Telegram said it had gained tens of millions of users, and Signal boasted “unprecedented” growth. In an attempt to staunch the bleeding, WhatsApp delayed the full rollout of the new policies for months so users would have more time to learn about the changes. “We've spent the last few months communicating directly with users about our update,” a spokesperson told WIRED in a statement. “The majority of people have already accepted the update, and for anyone who hasn't, we won't be deleting their account on May 15 and we'll be giving plenty of opportunities for them to review the update in the future. We know WhatsApp is a lifeline for many people around the world.” There's still the matter, though, of the lengths WhatsApp has had to go to to carry off this routine policy update. “When your users have made it clear that they would rather not accept a new policy, and your response is to very gradually push them out of an airlock, it doesn't prove that they're happy about it just because they eventually accept," says Johns Hopkins University cryptographer Matthew Green. The other option would be to sever those connections with Facebook, but after years of sharing certain account data, both organizations likely consider rolling back the 2016 change as either inconceivable or intolerable. Or both. The gradual removal of features is unusual, says Whitney Merrill, a privacy and data protection lawyer and former Federal Trade Commission attorney. But other companies go even further, she says, locking users out altogether until they accept a new policy. “In a way this is more friendly,” Merrill says. From WhatsApp's perspective, the slow burn gives users more chances to accept and keep using the app rather than being shut out and defecting to competitors for good. "WhatsApp is being relied on more than ever right now and we want to keep it that way,” the spokesperson told WIRED. Merrill points out though, that WhatsApp is in this situation in the first place because users clearly didn't understand the privacy policy changes the company made back in 2016. “If you don’t give users a good, clear notice when you make a change, people freak out whenever it’s eventually communicated properly,” she says. "This is why simple, easy-to-read policies go a long way, as do updates that include a summary of the major changes." For WhatsApp, that bill from its 2016 privacy policy changes came due this year. Holdouts who steadfastly refuse to accept the new policy in the weeks to come will have 120 days after their accounts becomes inactive to reconsider. After that, the protracted, conscious uncoupling will really be over. WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy Just Kicked In. Here’s What You Need to Know (may require free registration)
  9. GDPR regulators are urged to enforce an Europe-wide ban Germany has banned Facebook to collect data on WhatsApp users within the country's borders. According to the Hamburg Data Protection and Freedom of Information Commission (HmbBfDI), the app's new data collection policies, as well as Facebook's aggressive efforts to persuade users to accept, tamper with the GDPR regulations. In a press release, HmbBfDI commissioner Johannes Caspar stated that Facebook has a history of user-privacy abuse, citing the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the recent leak of 500 million records as examples. The commissioner is particularly concerned that WhatsApp's less transparent advertising policies may have a role to play in the German elections coming up in September. Caspar stated that "In view of the nearly 60 million WhatsApp users with a view to the upcoming federal elections in Germany in September 2021, the risk is all the more concrete, as these will arouse desires after influencing the opinion-forming of Facebook's advertisers". WhatsApp’s Terms and Conditions violate GDPR WhatsApp's data collection has been allowed for three months by the HmbBfDI. In the meantime, the European Data Protection Committee (EDPC) was asked to decide the case on a European level. If the EDPC finds that WhatsApp is in violation of the GDPR, a more permanent ban will be implemented on all member states, including Germany, until WhatsApp changes its policies. Facebook has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. According to a spokesperson for Bloomberg, the commission's emergency order is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of WhatsApp's terms and conditions. Despite the ban, Facebook plans to roll out the new rules. Facebook threatened to delete users' accounts if they did not agree to the terms after attempting to downplay its data collection policy. However, following widespread criticism, the social media toned down the threat, opting instead to bombard users with nagging consent popups. If the reminders are ignored, the app will gradually lose key features until it will become useless. Users have until May 15 to accept the updated terms. Source
  10. More details emerge about WhatsApp's much-anticipated multi-device support It's getting closer to a global rollout Back in July, we reported WhatsApp was working on allowing users to use the same number on multiple phones. Last month, new information revealed it would become easier to transfer your chat history between Android and iOS devices, hinting the feature is getting closer to a global rollout. A new leak reveals further details on how the new functionality could work. WhatsApp's beta v2.21.10.6 sheds more light on how users could sync their conversations between two devices. It appears that instead of merely migrating your chats from one device to another, those would be kept in sync. This means that your chats would be synced from one phone to the other, together with pinned or starred messages. Interestingly, deleting a specific message on one handset won't remove it from the other one, unless you delete it for all recipients. The feature is still under development and isn't yet accessible, even for beta users. It, however, shows we're getting closer to being able to use our WhatsApp account on multiple phones at the same time, bringing the experience on par with Instagram and Messenger. Source: WABetainfo Source: More details emerge about WhatsApp's much-anticipated multi-device support
  11. WhatsApp Vulnerability Discovered That Could Allow Attackers to Suspend Your Account Remotely WhatsApp has suggested that users could avoid the problem by providing their email address with the two-step verification. WhatsApp users are at risk even if they’ve enabled two-factor authentication (2FA) on their accounts WhatsApp is found to have a vulnerability that can allow an attacker to suspend your account remotely using your phone number. The flaw that has now been found by security researchers appears to have existed on the instant messaging app for quite some time now — due to fundamental weaknesses. A large number of WhatsApp users are said to be at risk as a remote attacker can deactivate WhatsApp on your phone and then restrict you from activating it back. The vulnerability can be exploited even if you've enabled two-factor authentication (2FA) for your WhatsApp account. Security researchers Luis Márquez Carpintero and Ernesto Canales Pereña have discovered the flaw that can allow attackers to remotely suspend your WhatsApp account. As first reported by Forbes, the researchers found that the flaw exists on the instant messaging app due to two fundamental weaknesses. The first weakness allows the attacker to enter your phone number on WhatsApp installed on their phones. This will, of course, not give access to your WhatsApp account unless the attacker obtains the six-digit registration code you'll get on your phone. Multiple failed attempts to sign in using your phone number will also block code entries on WhatsApp installed on the attacker's phone for 12 hours. However, while the attacker won't be able to repeat the sign in process with your phone number, they will be able to contact WhatsApp support to deactivate your phone number from the app. What they need is a new email address and a simple email stating that the phone has been stolen or lost. In response to that email, WhatsApp will ask for a confirmation that the attacker will quickly provide from their end. This will deactivate your WhatsApp account, meaning that you'll no longer be able to access the instant messaging app on your phone. You won't be able to avoid that deactivation by using 2FA on your WhatsApp account as the account has apparently been deactivated through the email sent by the attacker. In a regular deactivation case, you can activate your WhatsApp account back by verifying your phone number. This is, however, not possible if the attacker has already locked the verification process for 12 hours by making multiple failed attempts to sign in to your WhatsApp account. This means that you'll also be restricted from getting a new registration code on your phone number for 12 hours. The attacker can also repeat the process of failed sign-in attempts to restrict your account for another 12 hours when the first one expires. This highlights that WhatsApp will treat your phone the same way it is treating the attacker's one and will block sign in access. You'll only have the option to get your WhatsApp account back by contacting the messaging app over email. A WhatsApp spokesperson told Gadgets 360 that users could avoid the problem of getting their accounts deactivated by attackers using the newly discovered flaw by registering their email address to their account via two-step verification. “Providing an email address with your two-step verification helps our customer service team assist people should they ever encounter this unlikely problem. The circumstances identified by this researcher would violate our terms of service and we encourage anyone who needs help to email our support team so we can investigate,” the spokesperson said. However, WhatsApp has not provided any details on whether it is fixing the vulnerability to avoid its adverse effect on the masses. It is currently unclear whether an attacker has exploited the vulnerability in the wild. However, considering the fact that the details about the flaw are now in the public, it could easily be leveraged to restrict anyone from using their WhatsApp — at least for a few hours. WhatsApp has a massive user base of more than two billion users worldwide, with over 400 million users in India alone. Most of the users aren't likely to have their email addresses registered with their accounts at this moment. Therefore, the scope of the reported vulnerability is quite wide. Source: WhatsApp Vulnerability Discovered That Could Allow Attackers to Suspend Your Account Remotely
  12. Hi everybody I want to video call to many people at the same time, what should I do if I don't have a group chat. I have to figure it out myself on the WhatsApp Aero ultima versão that I am using
  13. WhatsApp adds voice and video calling to desktop app Image Credits: Facebook WhatsApp is rolling out support for voice and video calling to its desktop app, the Facebook-owned messaging service said Thursday, providing relief to countless people sitting in front of computers who have had to reach for their phone every time their WhatsApp rang. For now, WhatsApp said its nearly five-year-old desktop app for Mac and Windows will only support one-to-one calls for now, but that it will be expanding this feature to include group voice and video calls “in the future.” Video calls work “seamlessly” for both portrait and landscape orientation, and the desktop client is “set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows,” the firm said, which began testing the feature with a small group of users on desktop late last year. Speaking of which, support for voice and video calls is not being extended to WhatsApp Web, the browser version of the service, at the moment, a spokesperson told TechCrunch. (Facebook launched dedicated desktop app for its Messenger service last year, which supports group video calls.) The new feature support should come in handy to millions of people who use WhatsApp’s desktop client everyday and have had to use Zoom or Google Meet for one-to-one video calls on desktop partly because of convenience. WhatsApp, used by over 2 billion people, hasn’t shared how popular video and voice calls are on its platform, but said it processed over 1.4 billion calls on New Year’s Eve — the day usage tends to peak on the Facebook-owned platform. Like the 100 billion messages that WhatsApp processes on its platform each day, voice and video calls are also end-to-end encrypted, it said. Once known for taking quarters to push a feature improvement to its app, WhatsApp has visibly grown more aggressive with adding new features in the past year. In late January, Facebook added opt-in biometric fingerprint, face, or iris scan authentication for WhatsApp on desktop and the web, an additional protection layer that makes more sense after today’s update. It rolled out ephemeral messages, photos, and videos that disappear after seven days late last year, and also rolled out its payments service in India, its biggest market by users. The new feature additions come as WhatsApp is attempting to convince users to agree to its planned changes to privacy policy — which has received some heat on Tech Twitter. Whether those concerns raised by a handful of people on Twitter extend to the larger population remain to be seen. Source: WhatsApp adds voice and video calling to desktop app
  14. WhatsApp details what will happen to users who don’t agree to privacy changes Image Credits: SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP / Getty Images WhatsApp said earlier this week that it will allow users to review its planned privacy update at “their own pace” and will display a banner to better explain the changes in its terms. But what happens to its users who do not accept the terms by the May 15 deadline? In an email to one of its merchant partners, reviewed by TechCrunch, Facebook-owned WhatsApp said it will “slowly ask” such users to comply with the new terms “in order to have full functionality of WhatsApp” starting May 15. If they still don’t accept the terms, “for a short time, these users will be able to receive calls and notifications, but will not be able to read or send messages from the app,” the company added in the note. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that the note accurately characterizes its plan. The “short time” will span a few weeks. In the note, WhatsApp linked to a newly created FAQ page that says its policy related to inactive users will apply after May 15. WhatsApp’s policy for inactive users states that accounts are “generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity.” The instant messaging service received backlash from some of its users — including those in India, its biggest market — last month after an in-app alert said they had until February 8 to agree to the planned privacy terms, which are being made to reflect its recent push into e-commerce, if they wished to continue using the service. Following backlash, WhatsApp said its planned privacy update had created confusion among some of its users. “We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update. There’s been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts,” it wrote in a blog post last month. Since 2016, WhatsApp’s privacy policies have granted the service permission to share with Facebook certain metadata such as user phone numbers and device information. The new terms will allow Facebook and WhatsApp to share payment and transaction data in order to help them better target ads as the social juggernaut broadens its e-commerce offerings and looks to merge its messaging platforms. WhatsApp, used by over 2 billion users, last month delayed enforcing the new policy by three months and has been explaining its terms to users ever since — though its explanations hadn’t explicitly addressed what it planned to do with users who didn’t accept the terms. Source: WhatsApp details what will happen to users who don’t agree to privacy changes
  15. WhatsApp Testing Feature to Mute Videos Before Sharing: Report WhatsApp beta users should reportedly start receiving the feature today. WhatsApp beta users will need to be on version 2.21.3.13 WhatsApp is reportedly testing a feature that will allow users to mute a video before sending it to a contact. Simply dubbed as Mute videos, this feature is being rolled out to WhatsApp beta users who will likely need to be on the latest version of the beta – 2.21.3.13. Releasing a feature to the beta version of the app means the company is testing it out and gathering feedback from its WhatsApp beta users to know if there are any bugs or issues. WhatsApp beta users who are on version 2.21.3.13 should be receiving a Mute videos feature that will allow them to mute clips that they want to share with contacts before actually sharing them. A report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo shows that the Mute videos option will be located on the video-editing screen. It appears to come in the form of a volume icon under the seek bar, tapping on which would likely mute the outgoing video. Other editing options seem to be the same Photo Credit: WABetaInfo Rest of the options remain the same with an emote option, text option, and edit option. As of now, it is unclear when this feature will make its way to the stable version of the app. Recently, it was reported that WhatsApp is testing multi-device support that would allow users to enable WhatsApp access simultaneously on multiple devices. References to this feature were found in WhatsApp 2.21.1.1 beta for Android. The Facebook-owned messaging service tweaked its privacy policy earlier this year that caused quite a lot of backlash. Users started migrating to other services like Telegram and Signal, leading to their user base spiking. A recent report showed that Telegram was the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide in January 2021 while WhatsApp slid to the fifth position from the third place. Source: WhatsApp Testing Feature to Mute Videos Before Sharing: Report
  16. A Spyware Vendor Seemingly Made a Fake WhatsApp to Hack Targets Technical analyses by Citizen Lab and Motherboard found links between a fake version of WhatsApp and Cy4Gate, an Italian surveillance firm that works with cops and intelligence agencies. IMAGE: JAKUB PORZYCKI/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES Hackers tried to trick iPhone users into installing a fake version of WhatsApp in a potential attempt to gather information about them. Technical analyses by both researchers from digital rights watchdog Citizen Lab and Motherboard suggest that this fake version of WhatsApp is linked to a specific Italian surveillance company. The news highlights a sometimes overlooked attack on iPhones: tricking users into installing configuration files or so-called Mobile Device Management (MDM) profiles, which can then potentially push malware onto a target device. As the price of exploits for breaking into iPhones has steadily climbed, other government malware vendors have moved to leveraging MDM profiles to hack phones. “I think it is targeted, I don’t think they were trying to spread this around,” Bill Marczak, a researcher from Citizen Lab, part of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, told Motherboard. Last Tuesday, the security company ZecOps said in a tweet that it had detected attacks against WhatsApp users. The company published a specific domain—config5-dati[.]com—and an IP address it said were related to the attacks. Then Marczak and fellow Citizen Lab researcher Bahr Abdul Razzak looked into the domain and found others linked to it, including one that hosted a site that purported to be a page to download WhatsApp. In reality, the site attempted to trick visitors into installing what was actually a special configuration file for iPhones designed to potentially gather information about the victims and send it back to the attacker, according to the Citizen Lab researchers. Using data from cybersecurity vendors DomainTools and RiskIQ, Motherboard independently discovered multiple clusters of domains linked to the one publicly shared. The config5-dati[.]com domain shared an encryption certificate with other similarly named domains, revealing others such as config4-dati[.]com, config3-dati[.]com, and config6-dati[.]com. Citizen Lab searched for other numerical variations of that domain, including config1-dati[.]com; Google had preserved a cache of the WhatsApp phishing page on that domain. A SCREENSHOT OF THE PHISHING PAGE FOUND BY CITIZEN LAB. (IMAGE: CITIZEN LAB) "To keep in touch with your friends press the 'download' button and follow the instructions on the page," the phishing site reads in Italian. The page then instructs visitors how to install a configuration file via the iPhone's system settings menu. This is not how users install a legitimate version of WhatsApp: usually iPhone users download it from the Apple App Store. Marczak said this file sends information to the config1-dati server, including the UDID, or Unique Device Identifier assigned to each iOS device by Apple; and the IMEI or International Mobile Equipment Identity, another unique code that identifies cellphones. "[The MDM file is] the first bit of the installation process for what is ultimately likely to be a fake WhatsApp app containing spyware," Marczak said. Citizen Lab researchers said they could not gather data on the next stage of the attack, meaning it is unclear exactly what other data the hackers would have been able to exfiltrate from a target device. The phishing page is designed to look like an official WhatsApp site, with WhatsApp branding and professional graphics laying out the installation process step-by-step. The phishing page is not currently online. Citizen Lab shared a copy of the configuration file with Motherboard; when opened, the file says it is from "WhatsApp Inc." for "WhatsApp Messenger." When presented with a summary of the findings, a WhatsApp spokesperson told Motherboard "We do not ask for these user privileges and people should be very suspicious of any app trying to do so." "To help keep chats safe, we recommend that people download WhatsApp from the app store for their phone's platform. In addition, we may temporarily ban people using modified WhatsApp clients we detect to help encourage people to download WhatsApp from an authoritative source," the spokesperson added. "We strongly oppose abuse from spyware companies, regardless of their clientele. Modifying WhatsApp to harm others violates our terms of service. We have and will continue to take action against such abuse, including in court," the WhatsApp spokesperson said. Facebook and WhatsApp are currently suing another spyware vendor, NSO Group, for allegedly abusing WhatsApp's infrastructure to deliver NSO's malware to targets. Motherboard was unable to determine who the fake WhatsApp page was targeting. Apple did not provide a statement. After researching the set of domains, Motherboard found a cluster of other domains that at one point shared an IP address with the config5-dati[.]com domain, and from there a third set that shared an IP address and followed similar naming conventions. One of these, check3[.]it, was registered to "cy4gate srl", a company with a Rome, Italy address, according to WHOIS records. Most of the domains analyzed were registered in Rome according to the WHOIS records. Cy4Gate describes itself as a "Cyber Electronic Warfare & Intelligence" company on its Twitter account. The company develops several products, including Epeius, its solution for "lawful intercept," an industry term for hacking and surveillance as a service. In 2017, Cy4gate appeared before an Italian Senate committee to pitch its surveillance products, according to a document published online. Last year, it made headlines for developing a product to track COVID-19 infections, which was part of a series of COVID-tracking solutions considered at the time by the Italian government, which eventually gave the bid to another company. Cy4gate is part of the Italian defense contractor Elettronica. Cy4Gate has recently done business with high profile companies such as Fiat Chrysler as well as the United Arab Emirates, according to marketing material Motherboard found online. An Italian media report says Cy4Gate has also sold a product to the U.S. military, although it specifies it was not the company's Epeius product. Cy4Gate also offers cybersecurity products. A SCREENSHOT OF THE LOGIN PORTAL FOUND BY CITIZEN LAB. (IMAGE: CITIZEN LAB) Citizen Lab also found that an encryption certificate for an IP address associated with the config1-dati[.]com domain, which displayed the WhatsApp phishing page, mentioned "epeius," Cy4Gate's lawful intercept product. Motherboard found mentions of Epeius in certificates connected to IP addresses pointing to more of the config domains too. The Citizen Lab researchers also found that the config-1dati[.]com domain at some point returned a login page with a Cy4gate logo and the name Epeius, and shared a screenshot of the portal with Motherboard. The branding matches that of a Epeius logo Motherboard found in Cy4Gate marketing material online. A SCREENSHOT OF THE EPEIUS MARKETING MATERIAL FOUND BY MOTHERBOARD. (IMAGE: MOTHERBOARD) "EPEIUS has been designed to address the LEAs (Law Enforcement Agencies) requirements to move from the 'cloud' of IP data flow to a targeted active interception approach directly on the target's endpoint like a Mobile phone, a Tablet or a personal computer," the brochure Motherboard found reads. The marketing material adds that "EPEIUS implements a number of innovative techniques to 'infect' a device," and that the product is designed to be configurable depending on the client's mission requirements. "Example: if our task is the acquisition of target geolocalization and emails, EPEIUS will execute the pre-established modules," the brochure adds. The material adds that EPEIUS is designed to siphon data before it is encrypted and that data collection "is implemented through anonymous and untraceable connections." Cy4Gate took the Epeius product to market in 2019, according to the brochure. When Motherboard shared the domain data with Cy4gate, a company spokesperson said in an email that the config domains identified by Citizen Lab researchers and Motherboard are not attributable to the company. The Cy4Gate spokesperson did confirm to Motherboard that the check3[.]it domain belonged to the company. "I think it's pretty clearly their product," Marczak said. Source: A Spyware Vendor Seemingly Made a Fake WhatsApp to Hack Targets
  17. WhatsApp adds biometric authentication for logging in on desktop A more secure way to link your WhatsApp account Linking your WhatsApp account to your computer’s web browser or desktop app is getting a little more secure. Soon, if you’ve got biometric authentication enabled on your phone, you’ll have to unlock the app before you can link your account. The company says the new system is intended to ensure that should someone else gain access to your phone, they won’t be able to link your account to their web browser (which, in turn, would allow them to see any messages you send or receive). The new system will be enabled by default on any iPhone devices running iOS 14 with either Touch ID or Face ID, and any Android devices that have biometric authentication enabled. That means users will have to use it to link their accounts unless they disable biometric authentication for their entire device. Users who don’t have a biometric authentication setup on their phone (or have it turned off) will be able to link their account as usual. As with any other use of biometric security on modern smartphones, the new system does not mean that WhatsApp is accessing or collecting your facial scans or fingerprints. Rather, it’s just using the same biometric data APIs every other app does in order to access the on-device security system as an extra measure of authentication before it allows users to connect their accounts. So in the same way that using a fingerprint reader to log in to your banking app doesn’t grant Chase or Bank of America your fingerprint scans, using the new biometric unlock system here to link your account to your computer isn’t giving WhatsApp (or Facebook) your personal information either. WhatsApp says that the new update should be rolling out for compatible devices in the coming weeks. Source: WhatsApp adds biometric authentication for logging in on desktop
  18. Fleeing WhatsApp for Better Privacy? Don't Turn to Telegram Because the chat app doesn't encrypt conversations by default—or at all for group chats—security professionals often warn against it. Just use Signal instead.Photograph: Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Last weekend, Raphael Mimoun hosted a digital security training workshop via videoconference with a dozen activists. They belonged to one Southeast Asian country's pro-democracy coalition, a group at direct risk of surveillance and repression by their government. Mimoun, the founder of the digital security nonprofit Horizontal, asked the participants to list messaging platforms that they'd heard of or used, and they quickly rattled off Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. When Mimoun then asked them to name the security advantages of each of those options, several pointed to Telegram's encryption as a plus. It had been used by Islamic extremists, one noted, so it must be secure. Mimoun explained that yes, Telegram encrypts messages. But by default it encrypts data only between your device and Telegram's server; you have to turn on end-to-end encryption to prevent the server itself from seeing the messages. In fact, the group messaging feature that the Southeast Asian activists used most often offers no end-to-end encryption at all. They'd have to trust Telegram not to cooperate with any government that tries to compel it to cooperate in surveilling users. One of them asked where Telegram is located. The company, Mimoun explained, is based in the United Arab Emirates. First laughter, then a more serious feeling of "awkward realization" spread through the call, says Mimoun. After a pause, one of the participants spoke: "We're going to have to regroup and think about what we want to do about this." In a followup session, another member of the group told Mimoun the moment was a "rude awakening." Earlier this month, Telegram announced that it had hit a milestone of 500 million active monthly users, and pointed to a single 72-hour period when 25 million people had joined the service. That surge of adoption seems to have had two simultaneous sources: First, rightwing Americans have sought less moderated communications platforms after many were banned from Twitter or Facebook for hate speech and disinformation, and after Amazon dropped hosting for their preferred social media service Parler, taking it offline. Telegram's founder Pavel Durov, however, has attributed the boost more to WhatsApp's clarification of a privacy policy that includes sharing certain data—though not the content of messages—with its corporate parent, Facebook. Tens of millions of WhatsApp's users responded to that restatement of its (years-old) info-sharing practices by fleeing the service, and many went to Telegram, no doubt attracted in part by its claims of "heavily encrypted" messaging. "We've had surges of downloads before, throughout our 7-year history of protecting user privacy," Durov wrote from his Telegram account. "But this time is different. People no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services." But ask Raphael Mimoun—or other security professionals who have analyzed Telegram and who spoke to WIRED about its security and privacy shortcomings—and it's clear that Telegram is far from the best-in-class privacy haven that Durov describes, and that many at-risk users believe it to be. "People turn to Telegram because they think it's going to keep them safe," says Mimoun, who last week published a blog post about Telegram's flaws that he says was based on "five years of bottled up frustration" about the misperceptions of its security. "There is just a really big gap between what people feel and believe and the reality of the privacy and security of the app." “It's like if everyone else in the world has agreed that we're going to use drywall to do the walls in a house, and then you've got somebody who's using toothpaste.” Matthew Green, Johns Hopkins University Telegram's privacy protections aren't necessarily faulty or broken on a fundamental level, says Nadim Kobeissi, a cryptographer and founder of Paris-based cryptography consultancy Symbolic Software. But when it comes to encrypting users' communications so that they can't be surveilled, it simply doesn't measure up to WhatsApp—not to mention the nonprofit secure messaging app Signal, which Kobeissi and most other security professionals recommend. That's because WhatsApp and Signal end-to-end encrypt every message and call by default, so that their own servers never access the content of conversations. Telegram by default only uses "transport layer" encryption that protects the connection from the user to the server, rather than from one user to another. "In terms of encryption, Telegram is just not as good as WhatsApp," says Kobeissi. "The fact that encryption is not enabled by default already puts it way behind WhatsApp." Telegram does offer end-to-end encryption for one-to-one chats, but requires users to enable a "secret chats" feature, which must be switched on for every contact individually. Starting that secret chat requires four menu taps that aren't particularly intuitive. (Tap the contact's name, then "more," then "start secret chat," and then confirm when a prompt asks if you're sure.) Conversation history from the default chat doesn't carry over to the “secret” one, and the you have to initiate that encryption option every time you pick a conversation back up with a contact. "Would you rather go for the car where airbags work any time you get into a crash?" asks Kobeissi. "Or are you going to go for the car where, every time you turn it on you have to type in a PIN to enable airbags? Why not have them on by default? There's going to be a time where you're going to forget to type that PIN and you're going to get into a crash." Worse still, Telegram doesn't offer its secret chats feature at all for group chats, where many of its most at-risk users congregate. It also stores all default chat histories on its servers. That adds a measure of convenience; threads conveniently reappear whenever you install the app on a new device. But the approach leaves them vulnerable to being read by everyone from Telegram itself to hackers who manage to breach the company's network to legal authorities who compel it to share user data. That threat of government coercion became more concrete when Telegram moved its development team—and the official headquarters of one company in the Telegram Group—from Berlin to Dubai three years ago. Though Telegram keeps its servers spread elsewhere around the world, that location nonetheless leaves the company particularly vulnerable to pressure from the United Arab Emirates, a country known for its record of aggressively hacking and surveilling human rights activists and dissidents. When WIRED reached out to Telegram for comment on these criticisms, its head of marketing Mike Ravdonikas responded in a Telegram message that the company doesn't store data in the UAE and has never received a data request from the UAE government. He added that its "lean Dubai-based team is ready to move to a different location if it ever faces pressure." As for its lack of end-to-end encryption by default, Ravdonikas writes that Telegram's non-secret chats have features that "are not possible to implement in an end-to-end encrypted environment," such as persistent chat histories across devices, very large user groups, and sending large documents and video. "We are not going to cripple Telegram by throwing away dozens of its great features because some folks are misled by marketing tricks from our competitors or are too lazy to start Secret Chats when they think they need them," Telegram founder Durov wrote on his public Telegram channel earlier this month. But many cryptographers remain wary of Telegram's encryption scheme even in secret chats. The company uses its own, unique encryption protocol known as MTProto. That preference for homebrewed encryption is widely considered deeply unwise by cryptographers who have long held that it's far safer to implement standard, well-tested protocols. After all, sussing out the vulnerabilities in any new protocol takes years of work and careful auditing, no matter how clever a company's in-house cryptographers may be. Telegram's MTProto protocol isn't obviously broken in a practical way, concedes Matt Green, a cryptographer at Johns Hopkins University who has consulted for Facebook on encrypted messaging systems. But it's uniquely "weird," he says, in a way that suggests its inventors don't understand tried-and-true cryptography practices, and raises his suspicions that it may yet have undiscovered vulnerabilities. "It's like if everyone else in the world has agreed that we're going to use drywall to do the walls in a house, and then you've got somebody who's using toothpaste," says Green. "Even if the toothpaste works and makes a nice wall, that's weird. How do you know they're not doing other weird, nonstandard things when they put the electrical wiring into the house? And that's what scares me." Telegram's head of marketing Ravdonikas argues that "Telegram encryption relies on classical algorithms, because we consider some approaches promoted by US-based cryptographers after 9-11/The Patriot Act (which your sources refer to as “state of the art cryptography“) questionable." That rebuttal elicited an eyeroll emoji from Johns Hopkins' Green. "We use these standard approaches because they have public and verifiable mathematical proofs of security," Green says. The standard protocols that Telegram avoids have had plenty of scrutiny outside of the US, he adds in response to the allegation that the Patriot Act biases US cryptographers who have examined them. And Telegram itself uses standard crypto algorithms developed and certified by US government agencies, just in non-standard ways. But Green emphasizes that any criticism of Telegram's encryption protocol is almost academic. The real, overarching problem with Telegram's security protections is that it doesn't actually offer end-to-end encryption by default. "If you're not using secret chats, then Telegram and anyone who hacks into Telegram's servers sees all of your communications. And that's really the biggest problem," Green says. "Signal has default end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp has default end-to-end encryption. Telegram does not." Raphael Mimoun, the digital security trainer, says he's resorted to sending every friend, relative, or even journalist or activist acquaintance who appears in his Telegram contacts a warning message. "Welcome to Telegram," it reads. "Telegram isn't particularly secure or private (or trustworthy)." Lately, as more WhatsApp refugees join the service than ever, he's having a hard time keeping up. Fleeing WhatsApp for Better Privacy? Don't Turn to Telegram
  19. WhatsApp to delay new privacy policy amid mass confusion about Facebook data sharing The new update will now go out on May 15th Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge WhatsApp on Friday announced a three-month delay of a new privacy policy originally slated to go into effect on February 8th following widespread confusion over whether the new policy would mandate data sharing with Facebook. The update does not in fact affect data sharing with Facebook with regard to user chats or other profile information; WhatsApp has repeatedly clarified that its update addresses business chats in the event a user converses with a company’s customer service platform through WhatsApp. “We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update. There’s been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts,” the company wrote in a new blog post published today. Since 2016, WhatsApp has shared certain information with Facebook, including your phone number, unless you were one of the select few users who chose to opt out of data sharing while the option was still available that year. WhatsApp does not, however, look at people’s chat messages or listen to their phone calls, and WhatsApp conversations are end-to-end encrypted to protect against those abuses. Despite this, a pop-up informing users of the new change included mention of how WhatsApp partners with Facebook, and it also included an ultimatum instructing users to delete their account if they chose not to agree to the new terms. That gave people the idea they were being railroaded into new, more invasive terms. The company released a separate blog post this week trying to clear up the confusion, and it included a chart that specifies what information is protected and not shared when someone uses WhatsApp. But numerous media reports highlighting the addition of new, broad language in the privacy policy (language WhatsApp says has been misconstrued to imply mandated data sharing) and misinformation on social media have coalesced into a full-blown WhatsApp privacy backlash. The result has been a surge in sign-ups for messaging competitors like Signal and Telegram. Facebook executives, including Instagram chief Adam Mosseri and WhatsApp head Will Cathcart, used Twitter to try to clear up the confusion, it seems with little success. Facebook’s poor privacy track record, and the fact that WhatsApp has over time turned its sights on monetizing the platform for its large international user base, has eroded trust in the chat app, which, in turn, has had the effect of turning a relatively mundane update into a worldwide controversy. WhatsApp says it’s now going to use this three-month delay to better communicate both the changes in its new policy and its long-standing privacy practices around personal chats, location sharing, and other sensitive data. “We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms,” the blog post reads. WhatsApp says no one will be losing access to the app if they didn’t agree to the new terms of service agreement that communicated the changes earlier this month. “We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” the company says. WhatsApp tells The Verge the policy won’t be changing when it does come out. The intent of the update is communicating to users that messages with businesses on WhatsApp may be stored on Facebook servers, which necessitates data sharing between the two companies and would allow Facebook to share that information between its main social network and Instagram for ad targeting and to improve its digital commerce business. WhatsApp still intends to release the update on May 15th to coincide with new business chat features it began previewing back in October. But the company hopes the extra time will help it get a handle on the controversy and better improve its messaging around what’s actually changing. “The update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services,” the blog post reads. “This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.” WhatsApp to delay new privacy policy amid mass confusion about Facebook data sharing
  20. Turkey starts antitrust investigation into WhatsApp, Facebook Turkey’s antitrust board launched an investigation into Facebook Inc and its messaging service WhatsApp Inc over new usage terms that have sparked privacy concerns. Turkey has a history of acting against social-media platforms in ways that activists say is meant to stifle dissent(image source: Bloomberg) Turkey’s antitrust board launched an investigation into Facebook Inc and its messaging service WhatsApp Inc over new usage terms that have sparked privacy concerns. Changes to WhatsApp’s terms of service, effective February 8, will allow the messaging app to share data with Facebook. Users will be required to agree to the new terms, which would allow for more targeted advertisements, or lose access to their WhatsApp accounts. The regulator also said it was halting implementation of such terms, it said on Monday. The new terms would result in “more data being collected, processed and used by Facebook,” according to the statement. Turkey has a history of acting against social-media platforms in ways that activists say is meant to stifle dissent. User concerns over possible violations of privacy have triggered a flight from WhatsApp to alternative applications. BiP, a rival application by Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, got about 4.6 million new users in three days, the company said on Monday. The company rose as much as 3% in Istanbul trading. Source: Turkey starts antitrust investigation into WhatsApp, Facebook
  21. WhatsApp Has Shared Your Data With Facebook for Years, Actually A pop-up notification has alerted the messaging app's users to a practice that's been in place since 2016. Your encrypted messages are still safe, but it's a rude awakening for many WhatsApp users.Photograph: Noam Galai/Getty Images Since Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, users have wondered and worried about how much data would flow between the two platforms. Many of them experienced a rude awakening this week, as a new in-app notification raises awareness about a step WhatsApp actually took to share more with Facebook back in 2016. On Monday, WhatsApp updated its terms of use and privacy policy, primarily to expand on its practices around how WhatsApp business users can store their communications. A pop-up has been notifying users that as of February 8, the app's privacy policy will change and they must accept the terms to keep using the app. As part of that privacy policy refresh, WhatsApp also removed a passage about opting out of sharing certain data with Facebook: "If you are an existing user, you can choose not to have your WhatsApp account information shared with Facebook to improve your Facebook ads and products experiences." Some media outlets and confused WhatsApp users understandably assumed that this meant WhatsApp had finally crossed a line, requiring data-sharing with no alternative. But in fact the company says that the privacy policy deletion simply reflects how WhatsApp has shared data with Facebook since 2016 for the vast majority of its now 2 billion-plus users. When WhatsApp launched a major update to its privacy policy in August 2016, it started sharing user information and metadata with Facebook. At that time, the messaging service offered its billion existing users 30 days to opt out of at least some of the sharing. If you chose to opt out at the time, WhatsApp will continue to honor that choice. The feature is long gone from the app settings, but you can check whether you're opted out through the “Request account info” function in Settings. Meanwhile, the billion-plus users WhatsApp has added since 2016, along with anyone who missed that opt-out window, have had their data shared with Facebook all this time. WhatsApp emphasized to WIRED that this week's privacy policy changes do not actually impact WhatsApp's existing practices or behavior around sharing data with Facebook. “Our updated Terms and Privacy Policy provide more information on how we process your data, and our commitment to privacy,” WhatsApp wrote on Monday. “As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp partners with Facebook to offer experiences and integrations across Facebook’s family of apps and products.” None of this has at any point impacted WhatsApp's marquee feature: end-to-end encryption. Messages, photos, and other content you send and receive on WhatsApp can only be viewed on your smartphone and the devices of the people you choose to message with. WhatsApp and Facebook itself can't access your communications. In fact, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to expanding end-to-end encryption offerings as part of tying the company's different communication platforms together. But that doesn't mean there isn't still a trove of other data WhatsApp can collect and share about how you use the app. The company says it collects user information "to operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services.” In practice, this means that WhatsApp shares a lot of intel with Facebook, including account information like your phone number, logs of how long and how often you use WhatsApp, information about how you interact with other users, device identifiers, and other device details like IP address, operating system, browser details, battery health information, app version, mobile network, language and time zone. Transaction and payment data, cookies, and location information are also all fair game to share with Facebook depending on the permissions you grant WhatsApp in the first place. “WhatsApp is great for protecting the privacy of your message content,” says Johns Hopkins University cryptographer Matthew Green. “But it feels like the privacy of everything else you do is up for grabs." Facebook purchased WhatsApp in 2014 and noted at the time that it and the company's chat platform Messenger would operate as “standalone” products. The slow shift toward integration has been controversial internally, and may have contributed to the departure in late 2017 and 2018, respectively, of WhatsApp cofounders Brian Acton and Jan Koum. A few months after leaving, Acton cofounded the nonprofit Signal Foundation. The organization maintains and develops the open source Signal Protocol, which WhatsApp and the secure messaging app Signal, among others, use to implement end-to-end encryption. “Today privacy is becoming a much more mainstream discussion,” Acton said at the WIRED25 conference in 2019. "People are asking questions about privacy, and they want security and privacy built into the terms of service.” Though this week's WhatsApp privacy policy revisions don't actually alter the messaging service's behavior, it's significant that users may have thought the company was offering an opt-out option all these years that didn't actually exist. A level of data-sharing that some users disagree with and even fear has already been going on. Given the reality that Facebook has owned WhatsApp for the better part of a decade, this clarification seems to some like simply reckoning with the inevitable. “I don’t trust any product made by Facebook,” says Evan Greer, deputy director of the digital rights group Fight for the Future. “Their business model is surveillance. Never forget that.” WhatsApp Has Shared Your Data With Facebook for Years, Actually
  22. WhatsApp gives users an ultimatum: Share data with Facebook or stop using the app The Facebook-owned messenger with 2 billion users revamps its privacy policy. Enlarge Getty Images 33 with 32 posters participating WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messenger that claims to have privacy coded into its DNA, is giving its 2 billion plus users an ultimatum: agree to share their personal data with the social network or delete their accounts. The requirement is being delivered through an in-app alert directing users to agree to sweeping changes in the WhatsApp terms of service. Those who don’t accept the revamped privacy policy by February 8 will no longer be able to use the app. Enlarge Share and share alike Shortly after Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, its developers built state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption into the messaging app. The move was seen as a victory for privacy advocates because it used the Signal Protocol, an open source encryption scheme whose source code has been reviewed and audited by scores of independent security experts. Until now, WhatsApp allowed users to opt out of having account data turned over to Facebook. Now, an updated privacy policy is changing all that. Come next month, users will no longer have that choice. Some of the data that WhatsApp collects includes: User phone numbers Other people’s phone numbers stored in address books Profile names Profile pictures and Status message including when a user was last online Diagnostic data collected from app logs Under the new terms, Facebook reserves the right to share collected data with its family of companies. “As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, this family of companies,” the new privacy policy states. “We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings.” In some cases, such as when someone uses WhatsApp to interact with third-party businesses, Facebook may also share information with those outside entities. A lack of transparency The move comes a month after Apple started requiring iOS app makers, including WhatsApp, to detail the information they collect from users. WhatsApp, according to the App Store, reserves the right to collect: Purchases Financial information Location Contacts User content Identifiers Usage data and Diagnostics A WhatsApp spokeswoman declined to speak on the record about the changes and precisely how or if it’s possible for users to opt out of them. She agreed to email additional information on the condition it be kept on background, meaning none of the details can be quoted verbatim. Those details will be paraphrased in an update once the email arrives. Together, the WhatsApp privacy policy and terms of service are more than 8,000 words long and are filled with legal jargon that makes it difficult for non-lawyers to understand. WhatsApp is doing its users a disservice by not agreeing to speak on the record so that reporters can fully understand the changes and explain them to readers. People who object to the new terms and policy should consider using a different messenger. The Signal messenger provides the same robust encryption engine with a much more transparent privacy policy and terms of service. (Those documents are half the length of those from WhatsApp, too.) Besides providing encrypted chats, Signal also offers encrypted audio and video calls. WhatsApp gives users an ultimatum: Share data with Facebook or stop using the app
  23. WhatsApp Web and Desktop get support for voice and video calling WhatsApp’s web and desktop clients are not as feature-rich as the mobile app, but the Facebook-owned company is trying hard to close this gap by adding more features to its web and desktop clients. The latest features that the company added to the WhatsApp web and desktop clients are voice and video calling, something that WhatsApp has offered on its mobile apps for quite a while now. As you can see in the below image gallery, the calls button appears in the chat header on WhatsApp desktop/web. If you’re on the receiving end, a separate window will pop out allowing you can either accept or decline the incoming call. Similarly, doing a call will also pop out a window where you’ll get to see the contact information, a button to turn on/off video, a mute button, a menu button, and a button to hang up. However, the voice and video calling features are currently available in beta to a limited number of users. According to WABetainfo, more users will get these features in the coming days. WhatsApp didn’t share any details as to when it’ll roll out the feature to the public, but since these are available in beta, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes available for everyone. via XDA WhatsApp Web and Desktop get support for voice and video calling
  24. WhatsApp adds option to set custom wallpapers for individual chats and themes The most recent update of the messaging application WhatsApp introduces a new feature to all WhatsApp users to set custom wallpapers for individual chats and themes in the client. Previous versions of WhatsApp limited the wallpaper to a single one for all chats in the messaging client. The new update gives users full control over chat wallpapers. WhatsApp users need to make sure that the most recent version of WhatsApp is installed on the device. The new version is available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store already. Besides setting wallpapers for individual chats, it is also possible to set wallpapers for the application's dark and light themes individually. Set a custom chat wallpaper in WhatsApp First thing you need to do is open the chat of the contact that you want to change the wallpaper for in WhatsApp. Tap on the three dots in the upper right corner and select Wallpaper. Select "change" on the custom wallpaper page that opens. You get options to select a dark or bright photo provided by WhatsApp, a solid color, or an image that is stored on the device. When you select a color or photo, you will get a preview of the wallpaper on the screen. Swipe to the left or right to flip through the selection of available photos or colors without leaving the preview. Activate "Set Wallpaper" to continue. You can go back also if you have changed your mind. WhatsApp prompts you to set the wallpaper for the current chat only or for all light/theme chats except those with custom wallpapers set; the prompt is only displayed once. WhatsApp takes you back to the "custom wallpaper" page. You may change the dimming of the wallpaper on the page before you go back. The wallpaper is set for the selected chat only unless you have selected the "for all chats" option. Set a WhatsApp wallpaper for all light or dark chats WhatsApp supports setting wallpapers for light and dark chats that use the default wallpaper in the new update as well. Select Menu > Settings in WhatsApp. Go to Chats and tap on the wallpaper option there. WhatsApp displays the wallpaper for the current theme (light or dark). Select change to change that theme. You get the same four photo / color options, e.g. you can select a light or dark photo that is provided by WhatsApp, a solid color, or a custom photo from the device. Select a photo or color to see a preview. You can swipe left and right again to preview other photos or colors. Select Set Wallpaper to make it he new default. You need to change the theme from the current one to the other, e.g. from dark to light, and repeat the process, to set a wallpaper for the other theme as well. WhatsApp adds option to set custom wallpapers for individual chats and themes
  25. TextNow Dedicated Virtual Mobile Phone Number (USA) & Unlimited Free International Call to USA/Canada - UK Landline + Ability to Use Whatsapp Without SIM Card How is TextNow different from Whatsapp and Viber ? App Highlights Free Landline & Mobile call to USA/Canada (Tested to USA both Landline and mobile numbers) Free Landline to UK (Tested by myself) Sending Free SMS depending of the Country Zone... Receiving Verification Code: Currently Google & Microsoft Account verification code not working myself. Instruction: Signup for free during registration when you asked area code enter: 208 (That is the area code I can only get Whatsapp recognize the Phone Number) I got 2 Free USA Mobile Phone Number: (734) Whats up does not accept as a valid USA Number --> Got the number when ı enter Area cone 734 (208) Accepted number --> Have that number when I enter 555 during Area Code selection. Homepage:https://www.textnow.com/ Android:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.enflick.android.TextNow&hl=en iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/textnow-free-text-+-calls/id314716233?mt=8 Windows Phone:https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/textnow/9wzdncrfj38m (Android) TextNow – free text + calls PREMIUM v5.2.0 [Unlocked] Site: http://txt.do Sharecode[?]: /dtu7s ========================================================= How to Use WhatsApp Without Phone Number or SIM Via TextNow Method: In this method to use whatsapp messenger without sim verification, you need to install Textnow app on your android/ iPhone or windows phone. Using the Textnow number, you can install whatsapp without simcard. You need to have internet connectivity over wifi. Download Textnow app for your iPhone/Android/Windows phone. After installation, you will be provided with a Textnow number (when you asked area code enter: 208) We will use this number to run whatsapp without sim card. While setting up the whatsapp account, provide this Textnow number for verification. Then, wait for the Whatsapp sms verification to fail. You will be asked to verify your Whatsapp account via Call. Tap on the Call Me verification method You will get a call for the Textnow number, enter the interactive voice response Whatsapp verification code provided. Voila, you have installed whatsapp without sim using internet. Homepage:https://www.whatsapp.com/ Andrid:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsapp&hl=en iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/tr/app/whatsapp-messenger/id310633997?mt=8
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