Following the latest updates, end-to-end encryption is now available to WhatsApp’s over 1 billion users when they use the app. This means that nobody – not the police, hackers, or even WhatsApp or its owner Facebook – can read the conversations between WhatsApp users and their contacts.  

According to WhatsApp, “many messaging apps only encrypt messages between you and them, but WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. This is because your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read them. For added protection, every message you send has its own unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages.”

Considering the size of the WhatsApp network this is a major step forward for privacy, with a billion people around the world now secure from snooping. But this could also lay the groundwork for future confrontation between WhatsApp and governments which will make the recent battle between Apple and the FBI over unlocking an iPhone look like child’s play. This is mainly because WhatsApp won’t be able to comply with court orders to release users’ messages, calls, or video data.

By rolling out end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp is guaranteeing its users a messaging service with the most security possible.