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Soon, users may be able to hide last seen from select contacts on WhatsApp

The social media platform is also coming out with other new options such as allowing encryption for chat backups.

End-to-end encrypted instant messaging application WhatsApp may soon allow users to hide their last seen from specific contacts.

According to WABetaInfo, users will be able to hide their last seen WhatsApp status from specific people. Currently, there exists no option that allows you to disable last seen for specific people. One can only restrict their ‘last seen’ status to “Everyone,” “My Contacts,” and “Nobody”. MediaNama has reached out to WhatsApp for further information in this regard and the report will be updated when we receive response.

This means that, if you didn’t want a specific contact could see your last seen, you had to set the privacy setting of your last seen to “Nobody”. Today WhatsApp is finally working to introduce another option called “My contacts except…”, so you can finally enable your last seen back, and you can disable it for specific contacts! — Wabetainfo

The website shared a screenshot from WhatsApp for iOS that shows WhatsApp’s privacy settings, and in the options to restrict last seen, the new tab for “My contacts except” was included, apart from “Everyone”, “My contacts”, and “Nobody”.


WhatsApp also announces encryption for chat backups

In another privacy-related development for WhatsApp, its parent company Facebook announced that WhatsApp will now let users add an additional layer of encryption to their chat backups on iCloud and Google Drive by letting users add an encryption key to the backup.

Essentially it means that without being able to produce a key or having access to a user’s unlocked phone, users’ messages will be out of reach for law enforcement or government officials — and even WhatsApp itself.

“Our primary focus is on protecting people’s messages. That’s why we’ve used end-to-end encryption for messages in-transit, why we’re adding easy ways for private messages to disappear, and now strong backup encryption to protect the messages you want to keep,” WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart said on Twitter.

WhatsApp under fire in India due to new privacy policy

These new options come a few months after WhatsApp announced its proposed integration into the Facebook family of products and more data sharing with Facebook. Essentially, if enforced it would allow WhatsApp to share any information identified in the policy’s extensive “information we collect” section.

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After facing considerable backlash and finding itself in the middle of a heated debate about privacy, WhatsApp deferred the application of its updated privacy policy by three months, giving users till May 15 to accept the new terms.

A petition was also filed in the Delhi High Court contended WhatsApp’s latest update to its privacy policy is an “absolute violation” of the right to privacy and gives the company a 360-degree profile of a person’s online activity.

Recently in July, WhatsApp told the Delhi High Court that it has put its new privacy policy on hold until the data protection bill comes into force and it would not limit the functionality for users who haven’t agreed to the new privacy policy, the Economic Times reported.

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Written By

Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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