WhatsApp’s messages are protected with end-to-end encryption, making sure no one outside your private chats can breach your privacy. However, WhatsApp’s cloud backups have no such safety measure, meaning authorities with a search warrant could easily access that data.
This is about to change soon as WhatsApp has started testing encrypted cloud backups in its latest beta version. This update was spotted by none other than WABetaInfo.
📝 WhatsApp beta for Android 220.127.116.11: what’s new?
WhatsApp is finally rolling out end-to-end encrypted backups for beta testers today!https://t.co/Exs95QbHcE
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) July 16, 2021
WhatsApp cloud encryption has been rolled out to beta version 18.104.22.168 for Android. Opting for this feature should keep your chat history and media securely backed up on the cloud. However, if you lose your passcode, or the 64 digit recovery key, your encrypted backups will be locked away forever, and not even WhatsApp will help you get it back.
Sadly, those wishing to test the new feature will have to sit tight as the beta testing program has reached its limit and is now closed. WhatsApp is no longer accepting any more beta testers at the time of writing.
It may become available again with a future update, but most of us will have to wait for a stable release.
That being said, it is only available on Android phones for now and there is no word for an iOS update yet.