WhatsApp’s new Secret Code feature lets users password protect private chats

Meta-owned WhatsApp has launched a new secret code feature to help users secure sensitive conversations with ....

by Vikash Kumawat
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Meta-owned WhatsApp has launched a new secret code feature to help users secure sensitive conversations with a custom password on the messaging platform.

The feature is described as “an additional way to keep chats secure and harder to detect if someone has access to your phone or you share the phone with someone else.”

Secret Code builds on another feature called Chat Lock that WhatsApp announced in May, which moves chats to a separate folder of their own such that they can be accessed only upon providing their device password or biometrics.

WhatsApp said that by setting a unique password for these locked chats, which is different from the password used to unlock the phone, it aims to give users an extra layer of privacy.

It says, “You will have the option to hide locked chat folders from your chatlist so that they can only be found by typing your secret code in the search bar.”

The development comes just weeks after WhatsApp introduced the “Protect IP Address in Calls” feature, which exposes users’ IP addresses to other parties by relaying calls through its servers.

It also follows calls by the French government urging ministers, secretaries of state, and cabinet members to refrain from using popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram in favor of homegrown alternatives like Tchap (based on the Matrix protocol) and Olvid by December 8, 2023.

The news, which was first reported by Le Point, cited a circulated document that claimed: “these digital tools are not devoid of security vulnerabilities and therefore do not ensure the security of conversations and information shared through them.”

In response, Meredith Whittaker, president of Signal, hit back at the French government’s decision, stating, “this claim is not backed by any evidence, and is dangerously misleading esp. coming from gov.” Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp, concurred, saying, “we are of the same opinion.”

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