Your private messages on WhatsApp Messenger gets stored on their drive, where it might actually contain a treasure of sensitive information for hackers.
There are over 1.5 billion users around the world who regularly use WhatsApp as their primary means of communication, which makes WhatsApp the world's largest instant messaging app. The company boasts highly about its end-to-end encryption on all messages and media shared between users on the platform, which keeps third-parties snooping at bay to an extent that the Indian government raised concerns and asked the platform to offer traceability for messages.
So you might actually be very glad that every text you send to friends is encrypted so only the sender and receiver can read them. However, turns out that WhatsApp has been quietly storing messages in archives where they could be read by anyone who gains access to user's account.
The feature that the messaging app takes immense pride in, which is its end-to-end encryption, does not work when messages are backed up using Google Drive. The company keeps an archive of everything that Android owners send to the Google Drive cloud storage system. But the company has admitted these are not protected by end-to-end encryption which could mean they are easier to hack into.
"Media and messages you back up aren’t protected by WhatsApp end-to-end encryption while in Google Drive," Whatsapp wrote on its website. This statement raised fears that hackers, cops or even government spooks could access private data if they gained access to someone's Google Drive account.
Sai Krishna Kothapalli, an independent security researcher, noted that backing up chats using Google Drive is an optional feature and WhatsApp doesn't force its users to do so. However, backing up data using Google Drive is the most convenient method to store important chats, especially when a user wants to change over to a new device.
But the concern strikes when the backup takes place, Kothapalli said that messages are decrypted on the phone before they are sent to the drive as a backup. So it all comes down to whether or not you should trust Google for storing your WhatsApp messages as a backup, which the web giant says will be automatically removed from storage if not updated in more than a year.