p WhatsApp says messages on Google Drive not encrypted GTPADHIYAR: WhatsApp says messages on Google Drive not encrypted

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Tuesday, 28 August 2018

WhatsApp says messages on Google Drive not encrypted


However WhatsApp's end to end encryption has been questioned by authorities. Notably, the Indiangovernment has called on the messaging platform to offer traceability of messages sent on the app. It has reiterated that WhatsApp has not done enough in using technology to trace the origin of rumours spread on the platform that has led to violence in several parts of the country.
Google Drive


Google Drive

WhatsApp has asserted that its messages are encrypted and it cannot offer traceability.

“As a WhatsApp user you have the choice to not backup your data to Google Drive,” said Sai Krishna Kothapalli, an independent security researcher.“They (WhatsApp) are not forcing you to backup. It is a feature. So, if you trust Google, you can enable it.”

"From a privacy perspective (completely discounting convenience) online backups are no good regardless of who the custodian is. While Google does encrypt files on the server side they also ultimately control the keys for those -- which can be provided to law enforcement authorities on the basis of a warrant," said Karan Saini, independent security researcher.

WhatsApp provides end to end encryption, meaning the message a user sends can only be read by the recipient and vice versa. Further,WhatsApp guarantees protection to users from third parties trying to eavesdrop on conversations, and even prevents WhatsApp itself from reading the messages.

While the messaging platform itself is encrypted, “for users who choose to backup, the messages are decrypted on your phone and sent to your drive as backup,” Kothapallli said, adding that this is where there could be cause for action.

A mail to WhatsApp seeking additional comments did not elicit response on Sunday. A Google spokesperson reiterated a statement on the pact, adding “any backups that have not been updated in more than a year will automatically be removed from storage”.

Separately, Google said on August 16 its customers who buy storage space on Drive that they can manually backup WhatsApp client by October 30.

The backup to Google Drive is a simple way of backing up chat history so if you change devices or get a new one the data isn’t lost.

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