WhatsApp Users May Send Messages Without Using Phones First Time

WhatsApp Usage Without Mirroring Could Possibly Provide Support to Stalkers or Domestic Abusers

The messaging application WhatsApp is recently testing out a new feature that has been incorporated into their new update, which will allow the users to text without using only their smartphone device for the very first time. Currently, WhatsApp is directly linked to the smartphone of the user when it is being accessed through its web or desktop application, as WhatsApp on the phone requires a direct network connection to send and receive messages.

The new feature would allow its users to interact with their messages even if their smartphone is shut off.  Although this interaction is only limited to four devices, including tablets and PCs, and can be accessed at the same time.

In the initial phase, this feature would only be available for a limited number of users that are involved in its beta testing, and the team has plans to further improve its performance along with providing some additional features before it would be rolled out for mass consumption.

WhatsApp has said that end-to-end encryption, which is a key selling point for the application, would still continue to work even after enabling this feature.

Several other messenger applications have already incorporated this feature for a long time, including the rival firm Signal, which requires a smartphone for signing up for a new account but does not require a working network connection on the phone to exchange messages on any other device.

Although this is the most highly requested feature by the users of WhatsApp and has reportedly received over two billion requests.

WhatsApp Web without mirroring

In a blog post in which WhatsApp announced this feature, the engineers working for Facebook said that the change required a rethinking over the software design of WhatsApp. This is due to the fact that the current working version of the application uses the smartphone application to work as a primary device, which makes the phone the source of truth for all the data of the users and the only working device that is capable of making end-to-end encryptions for another user or start calls.

The WhatsApp Web application essential works as a mirror of the works that are happening on the smartphone, thus requiring an active internet connection to function. But this working system has some major drawbacks that are familiar to many of the regular users of the application, as the web application is known to disconnect frequently when used for slightly longer durations.

This also means that only one companion application is allowed to be active at a time, so loading the WhatsApp app onto another device would automatically disconnect itself from the WhatsApp Web.

The new update of WhatsApp would have the multi-device architecture removes all these complications, and no longer needs a connected smartphone, and would keep receiving the data and messages seamlessly along with it being secured, private, and synchronized.

On the level of technical details, the solution was to provide each device with its own separate identity key, and then WhatsApp would keep all the records of which specialized key belongs to the same user account. That would mean it would not have to keep all the messages in-store on its server, which could possibly lead to potential major privacy issues.

Privacy issues

According to Jake Moore, the security specialist working at the anti-virus-company Eset stated that no matter the amount of robust security a firm has, having personal and private messages being available on more than one device could lead to concerns. As there would always be malicious malware working to find or possibly create a workaround.

The stalkers or domestic abusers could possibly have the potential to use this newly incorporated feature to their own advantage and could be able to create additional endpoints in an attempt to capture any information through the synchronized personal communication.

Mr. Moore also said that the threat of social engineering is always increasing, and it is the responsibility of the user to keep a check on any potential misuse of their own personal information. Due to which it is very important for all users to be very aware of the fact that any device could potentially be connected to their user account.

Read also WhatsApp To Go Forward With Privacy Changes Despite Backlash