WhatsApp has a new feature that lets users make photos and videos disappear after they have been seen.
After the recipient has opened the image, click “view once” to delete it. It will not be saved to a phone.
WhatsApp stated that the feature is intended to give users more control over their privacy.
Child protection advocates are concerned that auto-vanishing texts could be used to hide evidence of child sexual abuse.
Over encrypted messaging, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is already at odds with WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook.
This encryption prevents police from seeing messages “in transit.” Only the sender or receiver can see them. However, auto-deleting messages can mean that any devices taken in raids by police will no longer contain evidence.
Alison Trew, senior online safety officer at the charity, stated that “this view once feature could place children at even greater danger by giving offenders another way to avoid detection or erase evidence when efforts are already hindered from combating child sexual abuse.”
Whatsapp marketing view is once as a private function for regular consumers; it could be used to take throwaway photos, but personal ones – for instance, when shopping for clothes and asking your partner how they look. Or sending someone a password.
It stated that not everything we share should be made permanent digital records.
“Taking a photo on many phones means that it will take up space in the camera roll forever.”
It was rolling out the feature “everyone beginning this week.”
A message will be “view once” by users because it will not display a preview and instead display a large “1”.
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Similar to vanishing messages, other apps, such as Snapchat. However, it is possible to capture a screen or take a screenshot of the message once it has been opened. Or to film one screen using another camera.
There are also limitations to this feature:
These photos won’t be saved to a phone gallery app
Media cannot be saved, forwarded, shared, shared, or starred
If it is not opened in two weeks, it will be deemed invalid.
WhatsApp introduced a disappearing-messages function in November
It erases all text messages sent and received by the sender and receiver after seven days. This is one area of concern that could be challenged by the UK government.
The UK law states that information related to “substantive talks or decisions” must be recorded for historical purposes.
Many government officials are known to use Signal and WhatsApp frequently. One campaigning law firm has accused political leaders of “Government-by-Text.”
According to the Cabinet Office, “appropriate arrangements” have been made to ensure that official communications comply with rules.