WhatsApp update: New feature brings latest fingerprint security to app

Android and iOS phones with biometric scanner will support the anti-snooping tool

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 14 January 2019 21:05
Whatsapp Update: New feature brings latest fingerprint security to app

WhatsApp will introduce a brand new feature with its latest update to significantly improve security for users.

The popular messaging app is working to incorporate bioimetrics into its Authentification feature on Android devices, meaning users can protect their messages using their fingerprint.

This function was first spotted by the WaBetaInfo website which consistently shares unreleased updates for the Facebook-owned app by scanning the code for new features.

It is not known when the new features will be rolled out, though the next major v2.19.3 update for Android would be a logical release date.

Apple iPhones and Android smartphones that currently support fingerprint authentification will be able to protect a user's WhatsApp account from any unwanted snoopers by forcing anyone who wants to open the app to verify their identity with the finger or thumb print.

To enable the function, WhatsApp users will need to visit the app's settings, select 'Privacy' and then scroll down to the 'Authentification' section. There they will find an option to select 'Fingerprint'.

"It is also possible to use your device credentials, if WhatsApp is unable to detect your fingerprint," WaBetaInfo reported. "This feature is in an alpha stage of development and it will be available in future for any Android user having Android Marshmallow (and newer) and a fingerprint sensor."

WhatsApp, which counts around 1.5 billion monthly active users, is also rumoured to be working on a cryptocurrency to incorporate into the messaging platform.

A spokesperson for Facebook previously told The Independent that the company is "exploring" the technology.

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