The Narcotics Central Bureau (NCB) recently revealed that it got its hands-on some old WhatsApp chats related to drug-use. This has brought WhatsApp‘s “end-to-end encryption” privacy into question. As per WhatsApp, no third-party, including WhatsApp itself, can get a hold of private chats on the platform. Then how did NCB officials access the alleged old WhatsApp chats? That question is repeatedly being scrutinized by experts and users alike.
WhatsApp, however, is standing firm because the platform is end-to-end encrypted and that only the senders and recipients can access the content exchanged on the platform.
Here’s what a WhatsApp spokesperson told tech2 in an emailed statement:
“WhatsApp protects your messages with end-to-end encryption so that only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between can access it, not even WhatsApp. It’s important to remember that people sign up on WhatsApp using only a phone number, and WhatsApp doesn’t have access to your message content. WhatsApp follows guidance provided by operating system manufacturers for on-device storage and we encourage people to take advantage of all the security features provided by operating systems such as strong passwords or biometric IDs to prevent third parties from accessing content stored on the device.”
On the contrary, a report by Mumbai Mirror suggests that WhatsApp media and messages can be backed up on Google Drive, which is not end-to-end encrypted. Security officials can apparently take help from experts and can create a “clone” of any phone. This reportedly creates a”mirror image” of the phone that can access deleted chats and data that can be stored on a separate device. This data includes call history, WhatsApp messages, images, Google Drive, and iCloud services.