Meta’s WhatsApp introduces a host of new privacy tools

WhatsApp, owned by Meta, is rolling out a feature to block taking a screenshot of “viewed-once messages” that disappear after the receiver reads them, the company said on Tuesday.

Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced new privacy features in WhatsApp giving users the ability to secretly leave a group chat and make the online presence visible to whoever they choose.

“New privacy features coming to WhatsApp: leave group chats without notifying everyone, control who can see when you’re online, and prevent screenshots from showing once messages. We’ll continue to create new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.

WhatsApp introduced “see once” messages that self-destruct after the recipient has read them. This gives users an option who don’t want to have a permanent digital record of their message, but there have been instances where the recipient takes a screenshot of the message.

“Now, WhatsApp is enabling screenshot blocking for View Once messages for an extra layer of protection. This feature is being tested and will be rolling out to users soon,” the statement read.

According to a WhatsApp privacy study, 72% of respondents appreciate being able to speak honestly and unfiltered, but more than 47% are only comfortable doing so in a safe and private space.

They are particularly cautious online, ranking the privacy of their private messages as the most important – compared to email, text or social media.

According to the study, 51% of respondents prefer to stay hidden online to choose who they want to talk to, and 91% of people who are aware of blocking features think they are important.

The silent group exit feature will allow users to leave a group privately without having to notify everyone. Only admins will be notified that a member has left the group and the feature has started rolling out to all users and will gradually be available to all of its users this month.

WhatsApp’s new option for users to decide who can see them online will also be available to users from this month.

WhatsApp Product Manager Ami Vora said that over the years WhatsApp has added interlocking layers of protection to help secure user conversations.

“No other global messaging service on this scale offers this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voicemails, video calls and chat backups. safe to have a private conversation.

“And to raise awareness of these new features, we’re also launching a global campaign, starting with the UK and India, to educate people about how we’re working to protect their private conversations on WhatsApp,” Vora said. .

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