Google will have lied about the encryption of WhatsApp on Drive

An American investigation currently suspects the web giant of having lied about the encryption of WhatsApp conversations stored in its drive, jeopardizing the security of millions of users.

Hard blow for Google. While the American giant claims to want to bet on the security and confidentiality of its user data, a new antitrust investigation has further tarnished the reputation of GAFAM. Accused by several American attorneys general of anti-competitive practices, the company is this time singled out for having stored WhatsApp conversations on Google Drive in an unsecured manner.

Since 2015, Android users can back up their WhatsApp profile to Google Drive. Very practical for keeping your history in the event of a change of phone, this option includes all the messages sent and received, but also the photos and videos exchanged. Problem, if we are to believe an internal document made public at the end of last week, the encryption of WhatsApp data on Drive is not really guaranteed …

Lie by omission

If we are to believe the 17 attorneys general who signed the complaint against Google, the American company would not ensure the total confidentiality of WhatsApp data on Drive. As proof, an internal memo dating from 2016, which admits in half-words that “WhatsApp’s current rhetoric around end-to-end encryption is not entirely accurate”.

If the note in question was intended to clarify the situation with users, Google would not have operated no concrete action to correct the situation. “On the contrary, he failed to disclose this relevant information to his customers, with the intention of continuing to recruit more users of Google Drive”, thus reports the complaint.

Still according to the complainants, approximately 434 million WhatsApp users have thus subscribed to the account backup on Google Drive, without knowing that the encryption of their data was no longer ensured. More serious still, the company would have recorded since 2017 a significant increase in saved accounts. “In short, Google had no problem violating the privacy of nearly a billion users if it helped them grow their business”, reports the complaint.

It remains to be seen how the American giant will prepare its axis of defense on the subject. For its part, the instant chat platform explicitly states that “Messages and media saved in Google Drive are not protected by WhatsApp end-to-end encryption”.

Bitdefender Plus Antivirus
Bitdefender Plus Antivirus

By: Bitdefender

Leave a Comment