WhatsApp local backups are set to get end to end encryption, with the security of chat data finally becoming safer in terms of backups as well. WhatsApp had previously stated that it would offer end to end encryption on chat backups that are synced to Google Drive. Now, a post by WABetaInfo has revealed that the company is bringing it for local backups of chats as well. The move is a welcome one, for any measure of encryption and security can never be bad in any manner.
According to the post by WABetaInfo on Twitter, the feature has appeared on WhatsApp beta for Android. The screenshot shared for the feature shows that in the chat backup window, WhatsApp will show the time of the last backup, and whether it was end to end encrypted or otherwise. Below this, it will show an option for the user to create a new backup of their WhatsApp chats — which would also show if the end to end encryption feature is turned on or otherwise — along with the size of the backup. Below this, their appears to be an option that would allow users to choose whether they wish to encrypt their backups, or leave them as-is.
Choosing to encrypt WhatsApp local backups, as well as the ones that are uploaded to Google Drive, should be a no-brainer for all users. However, end to end encryption does increase file sizes, so presumably, encrypted WhatsApp local backups (and Drive backups too) would take up significantly more storage space than unencrypted backups. Giving users the option to encrypt their backups or otherwise may hence be a good move by WhatsApp, as it would allow those with limited available storage to also backup their conversations, and not risk losing them.