WhatsApp is implementing encryption for the Android version of its app, as the Facebook-owned chat app looks to boost its appeal to users.
The move follows announcements by Apple and Google that they are encrypting, by default, data stored on iPhones and Android devices.
Apple’s iMessage and numerous third-party messaging apps (including Telegram, Cryptocat and Silent Text) also offer end-to-end-encryption, but WhatsApp’s implementation is the largest yet, affecting hundreds of millions of its 600 hundred million iOS and Android users.
The encryption itself is being provided by Open Whisper Systemsvia open source messaging app Text Sure.
Following this acquisition WhatsApp users were worried that the acquisition would mean a subsequent loss of privacy, but Koum responded in a blog post saying “respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA”.
“We built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible,” wrote Koum. “Our focus remains on delivering the promise of WhatsApp far and wide, so that people around the world have the freedom to speak their mind without fear.”