WhatsApp logoSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is rolling out support for fingerprint and face unlock for WhatsApp web and desktop.
  • The feature will work with both iOS and Android.
  • WhatsApp does not have access to biometrics stored on your device.

WhatsApp is rolling out face and fingerprint unlock for its web and desktop clients. The feature helps improve the security of WhatsApp when syncing it to the web or a computer. The new security feature works with both iOS and Android.

It's important to note that WhatsApp does not gain access to biometrics stored on your device. Authentication is handled by the operating system of devices, and any face or fingerprint data is not available to WhatsApp. This is how authentication works in general, but it's important to emphasis this as some have wrongly accused WhatsApp of wanting people's biometrics.

WhatsApp also emphasizes this in its FAQ page about the new security feature:

Note: The authentication is handled by your device's operating system using the biometrics stored there. WhatsApp can't access the biometric information stored by your device's operating system.

That same FAQ page also walks through the steps of setting up WhatsApp web or desktop with your iOS or Android device.

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The move comes after scrutiny regarding WhatsApp's policies surrounding data. That sage left many people looking for the best WhatsApp alternatives and asking how to delete a WhatsApp account.

WhatsApp web and desktop are still popular ways to communicate from a Windows 10 PC. They allow you to sync WhatsApp from your phone and send messages from your computer, though your phone has to be on and connected to the web to work. Since they bring WhatsApp to your PC, it's much easier to type longer messages and to share media.