A few weeks after WhatsApp announced that its chat backups will no longer count in the Google Drive storage quota, it has made yet another revelation – WhatsApp chat backups on Drive are not protected by end-to-end encryption.
In an update marked important on an FAQ page, WhatsApp said “Media and messages you back up aren’t protected by WhatsApp end-to-end encryption while in Google Drive".
With end –to-end encryption, messages can only be read by the sender and receiver, which keeps third parties and even WhatsApp from eavesdropping on conversations.
Google also encrypts all the data stored on the Google Drive. However, Google still has the utmost access to this data and might provide it to law enforcement authorities. Karan Saini, an independent security research speaking to the Economic Times said “while Google does encrypt files on the server side they also ultimately control the keys for those — which can be provided to law enforcement authorities on the basis of a warrant."
Even though end-to-end encryption keeps messages secure, it came under the Indian government’s radar as it called on WhatsApp to provide traceability of messages sent on the app to trace the origins of fake news, which led to violence in several parts of the country.
However, if wish to back up your WhatsApp chats, here’s how to do it.
Open WhatsApp tap on Menu > Settings > Chats > Chat backup.
Tap on “Back up to Google Drive" and choose a frequency other than Never.
You’ll require your Google account to do this, so remember your login credentials while doing so. You can also select the Google account you’ve used to link your Android device.
We recommend using a WiFi connection while backing up for better speed and avoiding additional data charges by your internet service provider