Google hid that it had access to WhatsApp backups

For six years, beginning in 2015, WhatsApp users have had the ability to choose to back up their messages and media directly to Google Drive, advertised as an extended feature of their message encryption system. However, although it was apparently the same backup already encrypted, a recent investigation by state attorneys general and the United States has accused Google of intentionally misleading users regarding their privacy to encourage the use of its service.

And it is that although even the official publication published in the blog of Google indicated that «WhatsApp for Android allows you to create a private backup of your chat history, voice messages, photos and videos on Google Drive«According to internal documents and notes released now, and dated 2016, show an opposite reaction:

«WhatsApp’s current messaging on end-to-end encryption is not entirely accurate […] Currently, WhatsApp sells that all communications through its product are end-to-end encrypted, with keys that only users have. They have not been able to explain that data shared from WhatsApp to third-party services does not have the same guarantee. This includes backups to Google Drive […] when WhatsApp media files are shared with third parties such as Drive, the files they are no longer encrypted by WhatsApp«.

So, the worst of all this is that Google also hid the fact that the information was stored on its platform, it was actually stored in a plain text file on the user’s Google Drive. Additionally, Google of course never revealed that had full access to WhatsApp users’ data, noting the attorneys general that Google Drive’s terms of service at that time even allowed them to sell ads with users’ private information contained in these files, without the need to inform them.

As stated in this accusation: «In June 2016, around 434 million WhatsApp users backed up approximately 345 billion WhatsApp files to Google Drive, bringing Google Drive about 250 million new Google Drive customers. By May 2017, Google Drive had gained approximately 750 million new WhatsApp backup accounts«.

Now it remains to be seen what impact Google will face. after allegedly having been able to violate the privacy of almost one billion users, adding the incentive to take advantage of them to grow your business. And it is that although the company is already used to paying millionaire fines, this scandal could end up having greater repercussions against its Google Drive service.

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