Encryption

Facebook is hunting ways to push targeted ads into encrypted WhatsApp chats

Facebook is hunting ways to push targeted ads into encrypted WhatsApp chats

Just because your WhatsApp messages may be end-to-end encrypted, doesn't mean Facebook won't one day potentially be able to use the contents for advertising. While one of the big assumptions about encryption has been that the messaging platforms themselves aren't privy to what you're discussing with your contacts, a new push to develop homomorphic encryption techniques could change the stakes.

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WhatsApp adds encrypted cloud backups, but only for some beta users

WhatsApp adds encrypted cloud backups, but only for some beta users

WhatsApp has introduced a key privacy feature that'll help prevent unwanted snooping in your old chat logs -- but you can only access it if you're a beta user on Android. With the latest beta update, WhatsApp now offers encrypted cloud backups, meaning that anyone who acquires your stored chat logs won't be able to read them.

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Google Messages end-to-end encryption is now enabled for everyone

Google Messages end-to-end encryption is now enabled for everyone

Messaging has become so common among smartphone and Internet users that people often take it for granted that their conversations may not always be just between them. Unlike face-to-face or even telephone conversations, the chances of third parties, especially unauthorized actors, snooping in on private dialogue are so much higher in Internet-based messaging services. To fight such privacy intrusions, Google is finally flipping the switch for E2EE, short for end-to-end encryption, on its Messages platform. Provided you meet certain requirements, that is.

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Signal tests private payments using MobileCoin cryptocurrency

Signal tests private payments using MobileCoin cryptocurrency

Encrypted privacy-centric messaging app Signal has announced a beta test called Signal Payments. As the name suggests, this new beta involves testing a beta feature that lets users send and receive money through the app -- though, in this case, the transactions involve a private cryptocurrency called MobileCoin.

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Zoom is finally rolling out its end-to-end encryption feature

Zoom is finally rolling out its end-to-end encryption feature

Several months after stating that it would introduce the highly requested security feature, Zoom is finally rolling out end-to-end encryption on its remote working platform, providing users with a more secure option at times when it is needed. The company first announced plans to release an E2EE feature back in May, but it has taken a while to introduce the option, which will first arrive as a technical preview.

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WD ArmorLock Portable SSD wants to make protecting local data easy

WD ArmorLock Portable SSD wants to make protecting local data easy

A lot of the narrative around protecting user data often happens in the context of the cloud or the Internet, where data is often vulnerable to snooping and hijacking. Data stored on local storage, however, are just as or even more vulnerable, especially when talking about portable external storage. Encryption is, of course, an option, but one that comes as the cost of speed and flexibility. Western Digital is now boasting that its new ArmorLock encrypted NVMe SSD can let you have your security cake and eat it, too.

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Telegram encrypted video calls arrive with picture-in-picture support

Telegram encrypted video calls arrive with picture-in-picture support

Secure messaging app Telegram is back with a new update, this one bringing one of the most-requested features from users: video calls. The new capability is joined by the same security that draws many to the platform, offering a more secure alternative to regular phone calls and many other video apps. As well, the update also brings another batch of fun, animated emoji.

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Signal messaging app finally offers more control over random chats

Signal messaging app finally offers more control over random chats

Encrypted messaging app Signal is making it easier to evaluate a potential contact before letting them have access to your profile, giving users more control over who is able to connect with them. This new feature comes in the form of message requests, which means anyone who isn't already in your phone's contacts will be presented for you to accept or reject before they can message.

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Zoom to offer end-to-end encryption to free users but there’s a catch

Zoom to offer end-to-end encryption to free users but there’s a catch

Zoom is that kind of product that everyone loves to hate but still remains one of the most widely-used in its field. Time and again, the company that is close to officially becoming a verb has been involved in one privacy or security scandal or another, including one that is being linked to the Chinese government. One of the most recent issues that has earned it no small amount of criticism is withholding its end-to-end encryption or E2EE from its free users. Zoom has now backtracked on that stance but it comes with a small catch.

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EU recommends Signal messaging app to staff for privacy

EU recommends Signal messaging app to staff for privacy

This week, leadership at the European Commission (executive branch of the European Union) sent a staff-wide message pushing the secure messaging app Signal. This end-to-end encrypted messaging app was recommended on an EU internal discussion board for all staff. The message included, in part: "Signal has been selected as the recommended application for public instant messaging." Why would the EU do this?

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Signal encrypted messaging app starts testing emoji reactions

Signal encrypted messaging app starts testing emoji reactions

Encrypted messaging app Signal has announced a new feature that is currently being tested with beta users: emoji reactions. The new feature mirrors a similar reaction system offered by Facebook Messenger and a number of other major messaging platforms. As you'd expect, Signal users can leave a smile, angry face, or other reaction on individual messages.

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iCloud backups are not fully encrypted because the FBI complained

iCloud backups are not fully encrypted because the FBI complained

For the past years, Apple has painted itself as a champion of user privacy, as long as said user is also a customer. Its privacy advocacy has become so central to its message that it has, after decades of formal absence, attended CES but only as a panelist in a privacy roundtable. There will always be some who will doubt a for-profit's ulterior motives and they may have just been given a smoking gun that implies Apple did secretly cave in to the US governments wishes to have easier access to iCloud users' unencrypted backups.

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