In a recent blog post, WhatsApp unveiled a privacy-focused update to its calling feature, shedding light on the utilization of peer-to-peer connections for faster data transfers and optimal audio quality. However, this method has a notable drawback as it requires users to disclose their IP addresses, exposing sensitive information such as their data provider and geographical location.
Introducing ‘Protect IP Address in Calls’ for Enhanced Privacy
To address this privacy concern, WhatsApp has introduced a new feature called ‘Protect IP Address in Calls.’ This setting shifts individual calls from peer-to-peer connections to server-based relay, concealing users’ IP addresses from one another. Group calls have always employed this server-based relay, and now, individual calls follow suit.
According to the Meta-owned messaging platform, this novel feature ensures that user call data is routed through WhatsApp’s servers, preventing other participants from accessing their approximate geographical location. This update aims to provide an additional layer of privacy and security, specifically catering to users conscious of their privacy, as highlighted in the WhatsApp blog post.
Additionally, it’s noteworthy that all calls on WhatsApp remain end-to-end encrypted, guaranteeing that the platform cannot intercept or eavesdrop on the communication. The rollout of the ‘Protect IP Address in Calls’ feature is currently underway for both Android and iOS users, although it may not be immediately visible on all devices.
How to Enable ‘Protect IP Address in Calls’ Feature
For users keen on enhancing their privacy, enabling the ‘Protect IP Address in Calls’ feature is a straightforward process:
- Navigate to WhatsApp and access the Settings menu.
- Select Privacy, followed by Advanced.
- Locate the option labeled ‘Protect IP address in the calls’ and activate it.
WhatsApp Explores New Features and Ad Placement
Meanwhile, reports suggest that WhatsApp is in the process of developing or testing fresh voice message and sticker features. Additionally, there are indications that the platform may introduce advertisements within the Status feature.
In a recent interview with a Brazilian publication, WhatsApp’s head, Will Cathcart, hinted at potential ad-related intentions. While ruling out ads in the inbox, Cathcart suggested they might appear in different locations, such as Status or Channels, providing insights into WhatsApp’s evolving strategy in the messaging landscape.