WhatsApp's new fingerprint feature may stop users from taking screenshots

Do you often take screenshots of your private chats on WhatsApp? As part of the company's security changes, a new authentication feature, if enabled, will prevent users from taking screenshots, according to WabetaInfo.

The Facebook-owned messaging app is reportedly testing a new fingerprint feature that would require users to scan their fingerprints to access chats. As a result, people who get a hold of your phone will not be able to send or read your private messages on WhatsApp. However, once enabled, users will no longer be able to capture screenshots.

The Android beta version 2.19.106, tested by WabetaInfo, said, "We do not know why WhatsApp decided to prevent screenshots when fingerprint is enabled."

It also provided a screenshot of an alert that read: "Fingerprint security - When enabled, fingerprint is required to open WhatsApp and conversation screenshots are blocked. You can still reply to messages from notifications and answer calls if WhatsApp is locked."

This screenshot shows the fingerprint update by WhatsApp

WhatsApp won't be the only one to act on this. Streaming service Netflix also prevents its users from taking screengrabs of its videos. On the other hand, Snapchat notifies people that their stories have been grabbed. 

Doodle away 

The new feature will also roll out animated stickers and doodles that will be included in WhatsApp sticker packs. Doodle UI will allow users to edit photos by drawing on them or adding stickers. These stickers can also be grouped as categories such as "Favourite" so you can easily find the sticker you want to use. The UI feature, as shown below, looks similar to Instagram's doodle drawer. 

Screenshot of the new Doodle UI feature by WhatsApp

Earlier this month, the company released a statement that they would be releasing a new feature that would stop people from adding users automatically to group chats. Currently, being added to a group chat exposes users' numbers to several others who they might not know. 

In addition, to minimise the spread of fake news on its platform, WhatsApp is testing the "Forwarding Info" and "Frequently Forwarded Message" feature that would let its over 1.5 billion users know how many times a message has been forwarded.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel