The latest WhatsApp beta update for Android shows signs the messaging application is tightening security when using the companion web app with fingerprint authentication.
Code digger WABetaInfo found evidence of this enhanced security for the companion app in the 2.20200.10 build of the latest WhatsApp beta.
For those who maybe haven’t used the WhatsApp Web companion app, it’s essentially a way to send and receive WhatsApp messages from your PC, Mac, or web browser by ‘linking’ with a QR code on your mobile device.
According to their findings, a future update will allow you to prevent new logins to the companion app until fingerprint authentication has taken place within the WhatsApp mobile app.
This is especially important, as WhatsApp Web isn’t exactly secure if you use a laptop, PC, or Mac with multiple people accessing it. When signing into a new device, you’ll need to scan your fingerprint within the WhatsApp mobile app to create a new session. It’s not clear though if Face Unlock support will be added in the future for devices that support 3D Face Unlocks – although the Android 10 biometric API should allow for this.
We’re also not sure if this fingerprint authentication method might replace the QR code scanning already found in future WhatsApp releases. However, it could simply be a toggle or optional security extra for those that want to limit potential external access to their chats.
As this feature is still in the very early stages of development, it could be a while before fingerprint authentication for WhatsApp web does come to a stable build of the cross-platform messaging platform.