WhatsApp has said it is bringing in an additional layer of protection for users linking their WhatsApp account to their computer. The Facebook-owned company said it will use the face or fingerprint unlock, where it is available on the mobile phone operating system, to facilitate the new security feature.
“In order to link WhatsApp Web or Desktop to your WhatsApp account, you will now be asked to use your face or fingerprint unlock on your phone, before scanning a QR code from the phone to link your device. This will limit the chance that a housemate or officemate (when we have those again) can link devices to your WhatsApp account without you,” WhatsApp said in a blogpost.
This builds on the existing security measures that pop up a notice in the user’s phone whenever a web/desktop login occurs. “The face and fingerprint authentication takes place on your device in a privacy-preserving manner – by design, WhatsApp cannot access the biometric information stored by your device’s operating system,” WhatsApp said. The new security update for linking devices will be rolling out, alongside a visual redesign to the WhatsApp Web page on phones, to users with compatible devices over the coming weeks, it added.