WhatsApp Web and Desktop gets extra biometric security layer

Whatsapp Faceid
Whatsapp Faceid (Image credit: WhatsApp)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is rolling out beefed-up biometrics for its Desktop and Web apps.
  • It means users will have to unlock the app on their phone before linking their account to a desktop device.

A new security measure from WhatsApp will mean users have to unlock their device with biometric security before linking their account to a desktop app.

In a tweet today WhatsApp stated:

Today we're starting to roll out a new security feature for WhatsApp Web and Desktop: face and fingerprint unlock when linking devices.WhatsApp does not see your face or fingerprint data.Chats for your Eyes only

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As per WhatsApp's FAQ, the new measure will mean that now, when users want to link their WhatsApp account to a desktop app or sign in to WhatsApp on the web, they'll first need to unlock their phone with Touch ID or Face ID.

This means that should someone get access to your mobile device, they can't then go and sign in to your WhatsApp on a desktop device because it will be protected by the biometric security you use on your device.

WhatsApp says that, as per any other device that uses your fingerprint or face for security, WhatsApp can't see any of your data from Touch ID or Face ID:

The authentication is handled by your device's operating system using the biometrics stored there. WhatsApp can't access the biometric information stored by your device's operating system.

The new feature will be available on any iPhone running iOS 14 with either Touch ID or Face ID, as well as any Android devices with biometric security. If you don't have Touch ID or Face ID enabled, then you will be able to link your account to a desktop device as normal.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9