(Pocket-lint) – WhatsApp’s web and desktop apps will soon require biometric information from users looking to link their accounts, adding a new layer of security to the platform.
The update comes as the Facebook-owned messaging giant looks to reduce the chances of somebody sneaking into your account without your knowledge. So, providing your phone has face identification and fingerprint unlocking set up and turned on, the app will now ask you to go through a confirmation process when linking an account to WhatsApp Web or the browser version.
The current QR code method will still remain, but users will only have to pass through this layer once the biometric information has been submitted and confirmed. The new security feature, therefore, is enabled by default, and the only way it appears you can ‘opt-out’ is to turn off the face and fingerprint unlocking on your device completely. However, whether you need to provide something else, such as a PIN code, isn’t yet clear.
WhatsApp says it won’t have access to this information, since it will conduct the security check through your phone’s own operating system. So, at least on the surface, the change does appear to be a positive one.
The update is expected to roll out over the next few weeks to iOS and Android devices.
Writing by Conor Allison.