Lately, Meta Platforms has been on the watch for security issues, data privacy, and guidelines compliance. As a result, the company had to delay its plans of employing End-to-End Encryption As Default settings for Messenger and Instagram Messages until 2023 while WhatsApp messages, on the other hand, still remain encrypted. In striving to increase security levels on the Whatsapp app, Whatsapp has rolled out two new features – Flash calls and Message level reporting.
1. WhatsApp Flash Calls
The WhatsApp Flash Calls is simply a verification method that users will undergo when they install or reinstall the app, to gain access to their account.
WhatsApp announced the Flash call feature months back and later implemented it in the “WhatsApp beta for Android 220.127.116.11″ update in May. The features, then, were just an option to verify your account but now it’s totally different. The Flash call has now replaced the former OTP verification process in the app, to become a primary verification method.
The company strongly believes that the flash call update would provide a safer environment void of hackers. Since the flash call can’t be shared from one device to another –as the OTP verification would– it is most likely secured.
2. Message level Reporting
In addition to the flash call feature, Whatsapp also made another salient feature to help detect messages that go against WhatsApp guidelines – Message level Reporting
Unlike Facebook and Instagram, Whatsapp messages are End-to-End encrypted – meaning that the company has no access to the messages held on the app. This in turn means that the company has no permit to regulate or even detect hate messages. Remember! Several child safety corporations are against this practice.
Child safety corporations like NCA and NSPCC have been on the notion of opposing End-to-End encrypted messaging. As stated, tech companies should have a solid mechanism to detect abusive messages before moving forward to provide an End-to-End encrypted messaging system. So in the other way round, Whatsapp’s Message level Reporting could be a mechanism to detect hate messages.
WhatsApp Message Level Reporting feature kicked off on Monday and it’s believed to provide a safer environment for the app.
With this feature, WhatsApp users can now flag a specific message and report accounts to WhatsApp. This can be done by long-pressing a particular message and then selecting the report button on your screen. This feature, as stated, would allow WhatsApp to easily detect spam messages, unsolicited messages, hate messages and other message types that goes against WhatsApp guidelines.
In attempts to increase privacy and security levels for WhatsApp, the company has added several features such as the ability to control who sees a user profile photo, last seen, about, Status, and several others.