WHATAPP’S new View Once feature has finally landed – but it’s got a major privacy loophole
Anything you send using the new tool can easily be exposed to the world.
It’s a long-requested feature that will finally be making its way to iPhone and Android.
With View Once, any photos and videos you send will be automatically deleted after a single view.
“Taking photos or videos on our phones has become a big part of our lives,” said WhatsApp.
“But not everything we share needs to stick around forever or sit on our camera roll taking up space.
“In order to give people an additional layer of privacy and control over what they said, from today WhatsApp is rolling out ‘View Once’ photos and videos.”
Of course, there’s a huge catch.
Recipients can still screenshot the View Once messages you send.
And unlike Snapchat, WhatsApp won’t warn you if this has happened.
The only alert you receive is that a message has been opened – but not screenshotted.
So a recipient could take a screengrab, or photograph the screen with another device.
That means a message you thought was private can easily be exposed online.
You might have sent an adult photograph to someone, only for them to screenshot it.
That person could leak those photos later on, or have their device compromised in another way.
Maybe you sent your partner your credit card PIN number, and they screenshotted it.
If that person gets hacked and the photo is still in their phone, it could put you at risk.
And you might never know about it, because you assumed it was a self-deleting photo.
These problems already exist with Snapchat, although the firm offers screenshot warnings to help relieve some privacy issues.
Ultimately, it’s risky to send anything personal or private over WhatsApp – including with the View Once feature.
Security advice remains that you shouldn’t send info you don’t want online – even if it’s to someone you trust, and even with View Once.
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