WhatsApp Wants to Protect You From People You Don't Know

New privacy measures hide your last seen and online status

WhatsApp quietly implemented new privacy measures that protect you from people you don't know. 

According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp has been sharing new privacy measures with users. A Twitter user tweeted a screenshot of a support message they received from the app that details why unknown contacts can no longer see your last seen and online status. 

Person using phone

Getty Images/d3sign

"To improve the privacy and security of our users, we're making it harder for people you don't know and haven't chatted with from seeing your last seen online presence on WhatsApp," the support message reads. 

"This will not change anything between you and your friends, family, and businesses, who you know or have previously messaged." 

WABetaInfo notes that the new measures could be in response to some third-party apps that log your last seen and online status and how people could abuse this process to stalk WhatsApp users. 

In September, it was reported that WhatsApp was working on similar privacy tools that limit who sees your last seen and online status. The feature—currently in beta on Android and iOS—allows you to choose Everyone, Nobody, My Contacts, and now, My Contacts Except, for your last seen. 

The new feature option to choose who sees what aspects of your WhatsApp profile would also go beyond the last seen feature to include your Profile Picture and your About information, which contains things like your bio.

However, these privacy measures are different because while one allows users to control their last seen, the new policy is a broad measure for everyone that users cannot change. 

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