Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Thursday said that it has introduced the much-awaited fingerprint lock feature for Android phones to prevent hackers, snoopers, parents and lovers to see one's private chats. The users who install the new version of WhatsApp will have to scan a fingerprint to open the application.The company had already introduced the fingerprint lock feature for iPhones earlier this year.
Announcing the new feature, WhatsApp said, "Earlier this year, we rolled out Touch ID and Face ID for iPhone to provide an extra-layer of security for mobile phone users. Today we are introducing a similar authentication, allowing users to unlock the app with their fingerprint, on supported Android phones."
Even though the newly introduced fingerprint lock feature doesn't block calls, it hides messages and other important logs behind another security layer to prevent others to snoop into one's private conversations. An interesting feature of the fingerprint lock is that users can set a timer on the automatic lock to prevent the fingerprint dialog from appearing every time they open the application.
The app will also provide an option to hide the content of the messages in the notifications for security reasons. To enable the new feature, open WhatsApp, tap Settings, go to Account and then click on Privacy and Fingerprint Lock. Turn on Unlock with fingerprint and then confirm your fingerprint.
The latest feature to safeguard one's privacy comes shortly after WhatsApp revealed that its platform was hacked using Israel-based surveillance company NSO Group's Pegasus spyware. .WhatsApp said that around 1,400 people in 20 different countries were targeted by the Pegasus spyware for a 14-day period from April-end to mid of May. It added that the spyware was used to exploit the vulnerability in its video-calling feature to conduct cyber attacks.
WhatsApp has also filed a lawsuit against the NSO Group in a California Court and also called for a permanent injunction to block NSO from accessing WhatsApp and Facebook computing systems and technologies.