WhatsApp backups on Google Drive are not encrypted

WhatsApp backups on Google Drive are not encrypted
Google and Facebook earlier this month teamed up to offer WhatsApp users free, unlimited backups storage on Google Drive. The change comes into effect on November 12th and was initially positively received. However, WhatsApp has now begun notifying users that end-to-end encryption won't be available for messages and media stored on Google's cloud servers.

WhatsApp touts end-to-end encryption, which ensures that a message can only be read by its sender and recipient, as one of the platform's best features. It is still available for everything sent over the app, just not for messages stored on Google Drive. Of course, backing up your WhatsApp data on Google's servers is completely optional, and there's a warning that lets you know that your data won't be encrypted when stored in the cloud.

And while Google does encrypt files on the server side, they also control the keys for decrypting the information and can provide them to law enforcement authorities, a new report by the Economic Times notes.

Earlier in August, Google announced that all WhatsApp backups that haven't been updated in more than one year will be automatically removed from Google Drive storage come November 12. These include text messages, images, and videos. If there's stuff that you want to hold on to, open WhatsApp and go to Settings > Chats > Chat backup.

WhatsApp users on iOS won't be affected by this change, as Facebook already has a deal with Apple that sees everything backed up to iCloud.

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6 Comments

1. ShadowWarrior

Posts: 165; Member since: Aug 08, 2017

Is there any other option to where we can backup the messages?

4. Valdomero

Posts: 683; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

You can use 3rd party software to save a backup directly to your pc, but it costs $$$. Google: Backuptrans. It costs $29.95

5. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

You can do that yourself in Android for free, when you backup WhatsApp it makes a local backup on your phone. Just copy the WhatsApp folder after (or just the backup folder inside).

2. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I'm sure they will change this. Before the beginning of 2017, Whatsapp stored the messages on iCloud unencrypted as well and later on changed this. Pretty sure they will eventually do the same for Google backups.

3. Valdomero

Posts: 683; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

The only problem with Apple's backup is that they DO count on storage limit, so you're screwed if you have the 5GB cap.

6. BullaBoss

Posts: 141; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Mine is already full. Google photos is a lifesaver.

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