WhatsApp now requires users to use biometric authentication in order to access your account on PC or the web. As reported by Engadget this means you will have to use your phone’s face or fingerprint to unlock your account.
WhatsApp has been in the news for a number of reasons lately. The most positive of which was the company’s announced development of a ‘read later’ feature for archived chats.
More controversially WhatsApp faced significant user backlash after the company announced plans to force users to share their data with Facebook. Naturally, this did not sit too well with fans of the app. Eventually, the company decided to delay its plans but this did little to offset users dismay.
Much of this user anger turned into a positive to rival messaging service Telegram. The app saw mass migration amidst the backlash and has since reported record users figures for the app.
This move from WhatsApp to enforce biometric authentication for web and PC access seems to be a way to underly their commitment to security. It may have some effect on winning users back even if it is more a symbolic message.
WhatsApp bring in biometric authentication for web access
With the new system, WhatsApp will ask you go through an authentication process when trying to access WhatsApp on the web. This starts with identifying your identity then you will be asked to scan a QR code.
Following this, if you have face or fingerprint unlock switched on you will then have to verify yourself this way. The system is designed to add another layer of security to the app.
This new system works alongside another layer of security WhatsApp have brought in. Now the app will send your phone notifications when somebody logs into your account on the web or a computer.
This does not appear to be all the features WhatsApp wishes to bring to its non-phone clients. The announcement stated we are “going to be adding a lot more functionality to [its] apps for Mac and Windows, as well as the Web” over the course of the year.
Very little in the way of detail here but we will keep our ears to the ground in order to find out any more information as it unfolds. WhatsApp will hope that his extra layer of security helps to minimise any fears of a lack of safety. However, with users backlash high this could be tricky.